The Green Dragon Public House, Churchgate
In the heart of the Churchgate Conservation Area of Cheshunt stands the former Green Dragon pub, a timber-framed building that goes back to the 16th century.
The heart of any village is the combination of church and pub, and the Green Dragon is almost opposite St Mary’s Church, in the area that formed the original village of Cheshunt, before the eastward expansion to the High Street and the Old Pond. Although the earliest mention of the Green Dragon as a licensed house was 1756, it may well have been a pub for longer than that.
The building is first mention in 1669, when it was owned by Elizabeth Knowlton and occupied by Thomas Davis, although it isn’t clear whether this was a residence or an inn. In 1756, the licensee was one Jos Cuff, and the Green Dragon is recorded as having accommodation for four men and stabling for nine horses.
According to Percy Archer in his 1923 book Historic Cheshunt, “formerly for many years the magisterial business of this division of the county was conducted” at the Green Dragon ― a common practice before there were purpose-built court-houses for local magistrates’ courts. In the case of the Green Dragon, this use ended in 1906.
The listing for the Green Dragon describes it as:
C16 or C17 timber framed. C18 painted brick front. Modern tiles. 2 storeys. Lower N block with 2 floor bands broken by 2 C19 sash windows and ground floor canted sash bow. Taller S block, parapeted, has segmental-arched coach entrance on left hand; 2 ground floor sash windows and 1st floor canted sash oriel on right hand.
The Green Dragon has recently closed as a pub and is being converted into four flats. The plans appear to involve retaining the historic façade, so hopefully its old-world charm will continue to contribute to the historic Conservation Area at the heart of old Cheshunt.
Jolliffe, Graham, & Arthur Jones, Hertfordshire Inns & Public Houses: an historical gazetteer, 1995, Hertfordshire Publications
Archer, Percy, Historic Cheshunt, 1923, The Cheshunt Press