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Old Haunted Pubs Inns and Taverns in England
Inns And Taverns.
The first Inns and Taverns appeared in England in the twelfth or thirteen century. But two thousand years before that, there were drinking houses brought over by the Romans. These were called Tabernae, whereas you can see, the word Tavern originates from. Before the arrival of the medieval tavern or inn, travellers could obtain overnight accommodation in the local Monastery. The Monks were well known for their beer and ale making skills. When the Taverns and Inns arrived, mainly due to the fact that more roads were being built, and people were travelling a lot farther, the purpose was for travellers to have somewhere to stay on their long journey from one town to the next.
The word Tavern originates from the saying 'house of a neighbour' where people used to gather to drink the newly brewed batch of ale. Up until the first building was made for drinking, the population made do with drinking at other peoples houses or just indoors. When the population started to travel long distances, it wasn't only for their benefit that they should stay overnight in a tavern, it was also that they needed somewhere to water their horses, and give them food . At this time, men and women were allowed to enter the Taverns, and it seems that the women were as avid drinkers as the men! Fights would break out, and deals were made over a tankard of mead which is an alcoholic drink made from fermenting honey, then mixed with a solution of water and yeast. They also drank cider. The rich customers drank wine which was more expensive. At this time mead and beer were the only drinks that the population could drink throughout the day as the water of the time was dirty and caused diseases.
The original Taverns were advertised by the sign outside the front door. The Innkeepers would display branches and leaves above the door, and later added a lamp to guide the way in the dark. There are still a few original pubs still standing. One is the New Inn, Gloucester, and the King's Head at Aylesbury. There were many accidents of men falling from their horses after one drink too many! Another poor man had one too many to drink and fell into a well! Doesn't sound that much different from today!
The amusing thing is that even the women got slightly inebriated! There was an incident where a woman was holding her baby, drinking and trying to warm milk,and the child slipped and fell into the hot pan on the hearth and was badly burned! Not so funny! So much for lady like behaviour! Taverns tended to be for the more refined drinker and seldom offered accommodation. Inns were the poor mans drinking hole, where they could stay for the night, often sharing a bed with a stranger! No, it wasn't a necessity, it was because in those days you paid for a sleeping spot on the nearest bed! If it happened to be occupied you would just push them over a bit and take their place! Of course you could never choose your bed partner, and I am sure a few fleas and ticks would be added to the enjoyment of the stay! In those days it was probably regarded as a bonus!
Inns also provided food, as well as drink. Taverns tended to be used more for gambling, wine drinking and of course there was always bawdy women in plentiful supply!
The Oldest Pubs In England
The New Inn was built around 1430 mainly for Pilgrims coming to St. Peter's Abbey. Lady Jane Grey, the successor to to Edward the sixth, stayed here before her coronation. Sadly she was only on the English throne for seventeen days before she was deposed by Mary Tudor. She was later put to death. There is also a rumour that Shakespeare could well have stayed here whilst performing his plays. Take a look at the video below. The Inn has been supposedly haunted for many years. In the video, you can see a glass on the far table. There is nobody nearby, but the glass slides across and falls to the floor! Spooky eh?
The New Inn Gloucester
The Royal Standard Beaconsfield
A Pub With History
The word Pub derives from the longer term Public House since shortened to the more recognisable word Pub.
The Royal Standard Pub in Beaconsfield, was first known as The Ship, as far back as 1213. Before that it was believed to have been a Saxon ale house where women would place a green bush on a pole to tell passing travellers that they were welcome to come and sample the local brewed ale.
Most of the visitors were transporting tiles to the river at Holtspur where they were put on barges. At that time the interior was just a communal sleeping area, where the men could sup their ale, then lay down for a good nights sleep.
After king Charles the second came to the throne, the pub name was changed to The Royal Standard. Evidently, the king would meet his mistress there. This is the only pub in England with the honour of the full title.
The Royal standard is full of all the old and original pieces of history. There is believed to be a pew from an Elizabethan ship, a 1637 fireboard, and a Tudor cast iron coat of arms from the family of Lady Jane Grey! And loads more local tools used at the time.
Its said to be haunted by two ghosts. A young drummer boy is heard in the car park. He was a Royalist in the Civil war, and lead the army against the Puritans. If you visit stand a while and listen, you will hear the sound of his ghostly drum!
The second ghost is either a traveler who died there, or one of the Royalists at the time of King Charles I. He is seen as a ghostly shadow wandering the hallways and bar! Watch out for the cold hand on your shoulder, you may have just been introduced to the spectre of the Royal Standard!
Well worth the visit! But don't have nightmares will you?!
The Royal Standard Pub Beaconsfield
The Crown At Cookham Berkshire
The Crown at Cookham, is a lovely traditional pub that was built in the 1800's. It has been burned down twice since then in the last century. Since then the pub has been rebuilt and still retains it's old world charm. It is situated on the village green, and has fantastic view across Cookham moor.
You can also take a stroll down by the river thames which makes it's way to London, and is one of the most famous rivers in the world. It hosts a variety of functions, and is especially popular for weddings, birthday party's andof course, Christmas. I have visited there often in the past, and it is great for a quiet afternoon's rest, just taking in the sights and having a well earned drink! I just love the old fashioned look of the place. This is what England is all about.
Never heard of any ghosts here, but I just wanted to share it with you as I love this pub.
Dancing The Night Away!
I love all the pubs and taverns above for when I want to enjoy myself on a quiet night out. Or just take a stroll and look at the beautiful décor.
But of course there is always the 'Good night out' type of pubs, that are great. I tend to like the old 'Spit and Sawdust' pubs, as we English like to call them! My favourite for a good dancing night out, is the pub where they play music, have a band, or if you are that way inclined, get up and start singing on the old karaoke!
I must admit to liking the 'Biker' style pubs, as this is more 'me'. But I can also jiggle my way around a dance floor. One of my favourite pubs is the Hob Goblin, where you tend to see such sights as green hair, purple lipstick and a good old biker jacket! So I have added a couple of videos for you to check out the good old English Night life!
Oh and don't forget to say howdy to the local ghost at the high wycombe Hob Goblin. She is said to be an old woman in a long blue dress who sits on a chair in the corner brushing her hair!
If you feel a draught behind you, or suddenly get plunged into darkness, don't worry its just her saying hello!
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Not THE Scorpions!
This group called the Scorpions, is not the wonderful German band, who happen to be my favourite group ever! But these aren't bad! They come from Manchester, and were formed in the 1960s. At least I found a group in an English Pub! This is the type of music usually found in a traditional English Pub every weekend. Some are good, some are bad and some are appalling! But I would definitely go and see these.
The Scorpions At The Old Oak
Singing The Night Away!
I have had to cheat a bit with this! But I couldn't find a good old English pub with decent music, apart from the one I have added, without getting my ears blown away! So I thought I would add this lovely Irish Music as we do tend to have a lot of Irish Music in our pubs!
Irish Pub Music
England By Nell Rose
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© 2010 Nell Rose