The Boot, 4 Market Place
“I maybe one of the smallest Inns in St Albans, but I am definitely the most famous. Did you know that I witnessed the opening battle of the War of the Roses in 1455. Yes, the armies came together, just outside my front door, in Market Square. My importance was recognised, when I became the first pub in England to be adopted by the Battlefields Trust.
I’m much grander today than I was 600 years ago. Back then, I was divided into two buildings housing several shops. By the 17th century, things improved, most of me was knocked into one and I was given an outside chimney. Attic rooms were added later so I could put up travelling soldiers. Surprisingly I didn’t become a licenced Inn until 1719.
Why call me The Boot – there are many suggestions. Maybe I was named after a 13th century priest who it’s said, trapped and sealed the devil in a boot, or because a boot was placed in the street outside to identify me. More likely I was named The Boot because of the tannery and leather market that existed nearby. Strips of leather have been discovered under my creaky floor boards.”
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