The Bull's Head Inn, Turnford
The many pubs that used to serve the Cheshunt area have been decimated in recent years, but one that’s survived is the Bull’s Head in High Road Turnford, at the north end of Cheshunt. This has outlasted Turnford’s two other pubs: The Old Bull, opposite, which is now a restaurant, and the now-demolished New River Arms.
History of the Bull’s Head
The building which is now the Bull’s Head dates back to the 15th century, though I’ve been unable to find clear records of how long it’s been a pub. The earliest record I’ve been able to find is 1806, although that doesn’t mean it wasn’t already a long-standing pub.
In 1806, the Victuallers Recognizances identified William Petchy as the licensee, and the Petchy family are still recorded there in the 1841 census, where Mary Petchy is listed as running a “beer house”. The pub seems to have had quite a fast-changing succession of licensees, with the various censuses listing:
- 1851 — James Ballad, Beer Shop Keeper
- 1861 — Robert Akers, Victualler
- 1871 — George Smith, Publican
- 1881 — Henry Clarke, Inn Keeper
- 1891 — William A. Rogers, Licensed Victualler
- 1901 — John Hilton, Publican
- 1911 — John Hilton, Publican
John Hilton seems to have been the longest-standing licensee since the Petchys, but by the time of the Post Office Directory in 1914, he’d been replaced by Frederick Hugh Barr. Various directories list licensees up until the late 30s, with different names almost every time.
The Bull’s Head, which was described as the Bull in the 1901 and 1911 censuses, is now owned by McMullens and is a popular pub, offering a wide range of food.
In its listing for the Bull’s Head, Historic England describes the building as:
Probably C15. Timber frame hall house with small cross wing on S. Roughcast. Old tile roof. 2 storeys, 4 windows, including lower projecting cross wing, which has imitation half-timbering and ground floor canted sash window bay. Four bay conservatory to rest of ground floor with cast iron columns and valence. First floor, 3-light, small-pane casements. Square crown post in roof of cross wing. Modern extensions N, S and rear.