Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Stony Stratford Inns on the Square


In many towns the square is often the centre of all commercial activity, so Stony Stratford is a bit of an oddity in this respect. The main street, the main thoroughfare was also the centre for almost all commerce. Anything off the main street was always in a secondary position, and I think that remains true today.
It is probable that no inns developed on the Market Square until the 17th century. Those on the High Street were sufficient and only when traffic increased did it become necessary to find new land. The actual market on the square was an occasional activity throughout the middle ages and there would be no commercial advantage in building there while high street lots were available. Compare, for example, Horse Fair, which has never been of commercial interest.

The earliest of record may be The White Hart  which gets a documentary record in 1625.  This building was a Working Men’s Club in the first half of the 20th Century.

The Crown is still functioning. It first appears in parish registers in 1666.

The King’s Head is also mid-17th century. It is the building at No 11 market Square.

Smaller places, possibly alehouses

The Barley Mow 10 Market Square. Functioned between 170 and 1790

The Bell             Early 18th century. May have been at 16 Market Square.

The Crooked Billet.  Makes its first appearance in 1684.  Between 1821-5 changed its name to The White Swan. Markham says the building was demolished in 1937 but he doesn't give a precise location

The Green Dragon makes an appearance in the 18th century. It was probably an alehouse. Markham  suggests 5 or 6 Market Square.

The Fighting Cocks was at 14 Market Square in the 18th century. There is no 19th century record.

The Plough is  mentioned in 1770. It was the house at No. 2 Market Square.

The was one 19th century addition, just off the Square on Silver Street. This started off as a beer shop in the 1860s and later got a proper pub licence. It was known as The Red Lion. This is now a private house.

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