The Five Horseshoes is a historic pub in the beautiful surroundings of Little Berkhamsted, an attractive village on the outskirts of Hertford. The date of the pub’s opening is uncertain, though the pub’s timber and brick have existed since at least the early 17th century.
Little Berkhamsted’s origins, however, go back to a Roman-era travellers site, which was on the present spot of the Grade II listed Five Horseshoes pub. The village is most notable for the Grade II* listed building Stratton’s Tower, an excellently preserved five-storey observatory built for John Stratton in 1789, a retired admiral who wished to see ships in the Thames, but wished to do so privately, as a non-conformist. Just five minutes walk from The Five Horseshoes, is the Grade II* Little Berkhamsted House, an 18th century house notable for its stately Greek Dorich porch.
Just four miles from The Five Horseshoes lie the remains of historic Hertford Castle. The castle was first constructed around 911, and fortified with a motte and bailey in the following century. The castle has been a favourite of many royals, in particular Edward III and Elizabeth I. Hertford Castle has also hosted the English Parliament, who met here in 1563, when London was under the grip of the Bubonic plague. The town has also had famed residents like anthropologist Alfred Russel Wallace and Jane Wenham, whose controversial conviction altered the issue of witchcraft in England.
An attractive, historic pub with pleasant vistas of the Hertfordshire countryside, The Five Horseshoes is an ideal location to pause for great pub food, relaxing Sunday lunches, fine wines and refreshing cask ales.Read more...
Grade II listed pub The Five Horseshoes sits on the historic site of a former Roman settlers camp, in the sublime Hertfordshire countryside. The attractive, brick and timber Five Horseshoes pub is reputed to have existed since the late 16th century, though the site of this attractive pub restaurant goes back to a Roman travellers site which existed in this scenic area of Little Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. This scenic village, recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Berchehamstede, owned by Harwene de Scales, is still dotted with beautiful and historic buildings which indicate not just beauty, but an importance which belies the size of this tiny village.
The stunning, timbered St Andrew’s Church was constructed in the mid-17th century, and the village developed around it. Elsewhere, the Grade II* listed Stratton’s Tower, is one of the village’s truly unique sights, a handsome brick-built structure affectionately known as Stratton’s Folly – built for John Stratton in 1789, supposedly because of his being a retired admiral who wanted to be able to see ships in the Thames. The impressive Little Berkhamsted House was the property of Owen Lloyd, an eminent local stationer, who died in 1756. and the building lies alongside the attractive Old Rectory (one of an impressive three rectories which once concurrently served this scenic village). This little village’s most famous son is Brian Johnston, the renowned BBC cricket correspondent through the 1960s who was born at the Old Rectory.
Though some accounts place it as a seventh century settlement, Hertford, the picturesque county town of Hertfordshire, developed when Edward the Elder built two fortifications in 912 AD, and Hertford Castle was built at this time upon one of those two sites. Despite its relatively small size, attractive Hertford was chosen to host Parliament in 1563 whilst the plague was sweeping London, and was selected because many of the MPs lived in or around Hertford. The town’s beautiful, tree-lined Parliament Square is named in honour of these important political meetings. Shire Hall, chartered by King James I stands grandly at the heart of the square, and a corn market and public hall were held here throughout the 18th and 19th century. The Grade II* listed Friends Meeting House, built in 1670, is the world’s oldest-built Quaker House to have remained in continuous use. This center of Quakerism led to similar houses across Hertfordshire, including in Watford, Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City.
During the 19th century, Hertford’s most famous son, Alfred Russel Wallace was born and educated in the town, forming the foundations for his work. Wallace was renowned for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection, and his work was jointly published alongside some of Charles Dickens’ writings in 1858. The prestigious 17th century Richard Hale School (known as Hertford Grammar School during Wallace’s time there) in the town has one of its five school ‘houses’ named in honour of the evolutionary biologist. The impressive Hertford Museum pays tribute to Wallace’s extraordinary scientific studies, as well as containing a wonderfully preserved 4th century Roman Corn Dryer, which evokes the Roman heritage of this corner of Hertfordshire.