Croxley is filled with pubs which offer the perfect space to enjoy time with your friends and family, from sunning it in a beer garden to enjoying a pint with mates on a winter’s night.
Some of Croxley’s pubs have been around since the 1770s, frequented by people in petticoats and bloomers. So, what is the history of Croxley’s beloved public houses?
1 – The Coach & Horses
First on the crawl is the beloved Coach & Horses on The Green. The earliest known reference to The Coach & Horses is from 1774 when the pub was known to have had a bell under the roof so that late-night travellers could summon the landlord to ‘open up’.
Opposite the pub was Stone’s Orchard, which mainly grew cherries, and past residents recall small children eating the fruit while their fathers enjoyed a drink.
The pub was even mentioned in a poem by the late Mr G. Revell, which was published in the 1973 edition of the Croxley Resident. It reads: “Silent as a waiting mouse sleepy stands the Public House, The Coach & Horses old and quaint sadly needs a coat of paint.”
2 – The Artichoke
Next stop is The Artichoke on The Green. The earliest references to the pub are from 1756, and sections of the pub were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. It often hosted regular auctions and meetings by important people.
There is a reference to The Artichoke in the Watford Observer in March 1886, which states: “An important meeting of the commoners was held at The Artichoke Inn on Friday week, to consider the best means of disposing of the compensation money paid by the Metropolitan District Railway Company.”
3 – The Sportsman
Stop three is The Sportsman, which sits at the top of Scots Hill. During the early 20th century when motor vehicles were becoming more popular, this pub had facilities for motorists to obtain fuel on the forecourt.
During the Second World War, this area twice suffered from German bombing attacks, but the building thankfully did not suffer any major damage.
4 – The Red House
Next on the list is The Red House on Watford Road. This public house was around during the 1800s when many long-distance travellers would use the nearby highway and take advantage of the opportunity to stop for a pint and some food.
This pub also provided local mill workers and narrow boat ‘bargees’ with refreshments after a long working day.
5 – The Fox & Hounds
The final stop on the crawl is The Fox & Hounds in New Road. The pub is believed to have been founded when the Croxley Green New Road was established on land belonging to Hollowtree Farm in the 1860s.
In the early 1990s, some of the customers of The Fox & Hounds continued to get together to raise money for charity, taking on challenges such as a bus pull.
And so we come to the end of our pub crawl, following a look back at the rich and vibrant history of Croxley’s pubs.
To find out more about the history of Croxley Green, head to www.croxleygreenhistory.co.uk
Photo credit: Croxley Green History Society