The New Inn, Chapel Street, Thatcham.

Thatcham Pub History

I have a number of local history books I am researching and writing. These are all based on Thatcham including Cold Ash, Ashmore Green and Crookham and some might also include Greenham, Midgham and other areas. Some of the topics I am researching include the changing boundaries, the complete history, the mills, the farms, the manors, the Romans, local charities, Thatcham in the First and Second World Wars, education and religion and the inns and pubs.

All of the above have been started; some are just starting whilst others are advanced state. I have for example a list of farms and a few farmers but not a lot else whilst the pubs, of which I will produce more posts, I have a great deal of information.

The Pubs

It is not clear when the making of alcoholic beverages first started although evidence would suggest that by 4,000BC the art of making beer had been firmly established. The Neolithic and Bronze Age people were known to have brewed a form of beer using water, cereal grain and wild yeast. By the Saxon period we had a number of alcoholic drinks including Ealu, Wyn, Medu and Beor. Note the latter is not beer, not as we know it today.

I will detail the ancient history in more detail in a later post. We know Thatcham goes back to the Stone Age, has Bronze age, Iron Age and settlements for every period since including the Romans. It is not known when the first Tavern, Alehouse or Inn appeared in the area, but alcohol in one form or another would certainly go way back and it is most likely a drinking establishment was present.

I currently have about 50 pubs, inns, taverns and breweries identified in Thatcham, Cold Ash, Ashmore Green and Crookham. To make life easier when I refer to Thatcham this will include the above. So just a few I have include:

  • New Inn,
  • Swan Inn,
  • The Chequers,
  • The White Hart,
  • King’s Head,
  • The Plough,
  • The Cricketers,
  • The Black Horse, and
  • The Wheatsheaf.

But there are many more including some forgotten ones such as

  • The King’s Arms,
  • The Queen’s Head,
  • Crown Inn,
  • Halfway House, and
  • Coopers’ Cottage.

I can so far only identify three as Inns (White Hart, King’s Head and Coopers Cottage) for stage coaches. The White Hart appears to date to the early 1600s whilst I have others that appear to go back further. I have names of innholders, William Rabbet from 1632 for example, but no associated establishment name.

What I have done, or am in the process of doing, for each is to research and identify:

  • Building history. When was it put up, any works done, archaeology, etc.,
  • Freeholder, where I can, such as breweries,
  • The landlord and staff,
  • Stories and news, and
  • Photographs.

This includes going through newspapers, archives, interviews and much more. I will post details about some individuals pubs in later posts. Please contact me if you can help (i.e. loan photos, give information, etc.).