Whilst the Museum is closed and our collections unable to be seen by visitors, we have created a weekly virtual museum with an Object of the Week feature from our collections.
Object E : Elstree Pubs
The Museum received a set of framed sketches of Elstree Pubs as a donation, which included Artichoke, Red Lion, Holly Bush and Plough. It is the Hollybush we have chosen as our object of the week.
Elstree Hill at one time was a busy coaching stop on Watling Street. The Hollybush was the last survivor and the oldest of all the pubs in Elstree village. It was extended in the 1980s when the coaching arch was removed and the outside toilets moved to the rear of the pub. Since the building was constructed in around 1450, the road level has risen, causing customers to step down into the bar. Many of the original beams exist, including those supposedly coming from Newgate Prison, and the original inglenook fireplace.
The first mention of it as an Inn was in 1786 when it was owned by Thomas Clutterbuck and managed by John Green. The Inn featured in an episode of Most Haunted in recent times.
It closed in 2009, along with The Artichoke further down the hill. Both inns were said to have great views of the surrounding countryside. The Artichoke, a short distance from the junction with Allum Lane, is first mentioned in 1750 when it was kept by Philip Cogdell. It was here that a number of inquests took place including that of William Weare who was murdered in 1823.The Birmingham to London stagecoach stopped here twice daily in the 1830s. It too has recently ceased to be a pub and is now the area’s first Shtiebl - a Jewish education and community centre.