37 – 39 Holywell Hill
“Hello, I’m number 37 and 39 Holywell Hill, sitting on the corner of Sopwell Lane, one of the oldest and best preserved medieval buildings in St Albans. I was built in the late 15th century as a hostel for visitors to the Abbey. When that Henry VIII closed the monasteries in 1539 I became The Crane, then The Chequers and finally The Crown and Anchor, always providing food, drink and a bed for weary travellers.
In the early 1800s, over 70 coaches a day came along Sopwell Lane and then struggled to make their way up the hill. Once London Road was built and then the railways came I found it difficult to make a living as an inn, so I was forced to become a beerhouse selling groceries, alongside a drink or two.
Let me tell you about 1958 – a lorry came crashing into my front room. It contained (of all things) a ton of bricks – but once they patched me up I became an antique shop, then an estate agent and I’m now a fashionable residence with…… it must be said…… most of my original features still intact after 500 years.”
Click here to read the research from our Volunteers:
At this unprecedented time the arts, heritage and culture sector needs your support more than ever.
If you are in a position to do so, please make a donation to help St Albans Museums.
During this emergency, your generous donation via the St Albans Museums and Galleries Trust will let us plan ahead; help fund our future activity; and allow us to support our arts partners and colleagues.
Thank you for your ongoing support and patience.