boar and cheese at Easter
By Llinos Thomas
Codicote’s name dates from the late Saxon era, meaning the ‘cote’ (or small cottage) of a man called Cudda. The first written record is found in a charter of 1002 when King Aethelred the Unready gave the manor to his “trusty servant” Aelfelm, who in turn left it to St Albans Abbey. The abbots claimed excessive liberties for themselves asking for 50 fowls and a boar every Christmas and 1000 eggs, a boar and cheese at Easter. This did not endear them to the villagers. Codicote remained in the Abbey’s hands until the dissolution of the monasteries in 1538.
The oldest pub in the village was the George and Dragon, now the “As You Like It” Chinese restaurant. An Inn has been on this site for over 700 years, when it served pilgrims on their way to St Albans. Whether it was worth stopping there is debatable as a publican Hugo Cocks was fined in 1279 for bad brewing. Its name changed to the George and Dragon soon after 1550.
Inhabitants of Hertfordshire took part in the Peasant’s Revolt of 1381 which demanded a Charter of Rights. Stephen Truebody, a Codicote man, was executed for his part in the insurrection. In revenge his fellow villagers set fire to the Abbot’s mill at Codicote Bottom.