HISTORY OF THE ROYAL OAK
A BUILDING UNCHANGED IN 300 YEARS
The Royal Oak started life as a tannery and although the precise date of the building's construction is unknown, one of the chimney stacks bears the date 1705 and it is known to have been in use as a tannery by 1707.
The tannery works were a contributing factor in the decision to move St Peter's Church from it's position directly to the west of the building, to where it stands today. The works owned the watercourses at the back of (what is today) The Royal Oak garden and their use contributed to the regular flooding of the old church.
The owner of the tannery, Thomas Wright, eventually abandoned the tanning business and turned the building into an ale house, first opening the doors of The Royal Oak in 1852. It was said that Wright made few changes to the interior of the building after switching trades and that it remained unchanged for many years after new landlords took on the business. The pub remained a constant and important part of village life for over a century, until it closed in 2007.
Although the interior of the pub today is a far cry from the ale house in a former tannery, the exterior has barely changed since the bilding's construction in 1705.
Explore the images in our gallery to discover The Royal Oak through the ages.