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20-22 Chipping Hill

Next to the forge is a red brick-fronted timber framed and plaster building dating from about 1702. This is now a pair of private dwellings but was built by Daniel Bedle as an ale house named the 'New White Horse', and later re-named the 'Kings Head' by Matthew Palmer.

 

They were licenced as The Kings Head, from 1828 (Thomas Wiggit) to 1863 (Robert Pack), It was one of several places said to have a tunnel to the Church - none have yet been found.

 

The innkeeper encouraged all possible meetings at his inn as it gave him the opportunity of providing a meal from which he would expect to make a good profit especially in the days of hard drinking when gentlemen were only too pleased to vie in testing each other's capacity.

 

The 'ordinary' was a set meal at a fixed price and is often mentioned in advertisements placed by inns in local newspapers to attract custom. The Chelmsford Chronicle. 28.5.1802. described a fair at Chipping Hill on June 4th, 1802. The anniversary of His Majesty's birthday will be celebrated as usual. An excellent ordinary at the King's Head and White Horse at 2 o'clock. N..B. Variety of amusements to promote conviviality of the day and no advance (at either of the above inns) and that wholesome  beverage, good home brewed beer.'

 

Sources: Ipswich Journal; Chelmsford Chronicle; Maurice Smith; Janet Gyford; Tom Henderson.

 

 

 

Text and Photographs: John Palombi and Cyril Taylor unless otherwise accredited. Illustrations: John Finch and Julie & John Denney. Translations: Google.com. Original Concept: Joy Vaughan, Witham Town Centre Strategy Group. Narration: John Rhodes
 

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