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Headington history: Pubs and beerhouses

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A Black Boy rode a White Horse and carried the Royal Standard shouting “Rule Britannia”.
He was chasing a White Hart which had a Bell around its neck. This disturbed the Fox, which ran aground in the Prince’s Castle

That was a well-known nineteenth-century saying about the eight principal pubs of Old Headington (which then included the hamlet of Barton and New Headington, but not Quarry). The last three of these pubs no longer exist, and pubs like the Butcher's Arms that were then humble beerhouses are not included in the rhyme.

There are ten surviving pubs in Headington.


History of Headington’s nine surviving pubs

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Former Headington pubs

In the mid-nineteenth century, beer-houses in townships not numbering 2000 inhabitants were required to close at ten at night, and the landlords of Headington were continually being fined at County Hall the Petty Sessions of the Bullingdon Division for staying open after this hour.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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