The White Horse, Hertford

Colin Wilson

The White Horse, Hertford. 31 - 3 are the white buildings. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
The sign of The White Horse. Dec 2022
The bench outside The White Horse, Hertford. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
The downstairs bar at The White Horse. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
The pew seating in the downstairs bar at the White Horse. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
The upper corridor of The White Horse/ Shows the roof construction and a portrait of henry VII's family. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
The smaller upper room at The White Horse
Colin Wilson
Wall structure of the larger upper room at The White Horse. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
Seating and wall of the larger upper room at The White Horse. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson
A knitted white horse in The White Horse upper rooom. Sep 2022
Colin Wilson
detail of the knitted white horse in The White Horse. Sep 2022
Colin Wilson
Portrait of henry VIII at The White Horse. Dec 2022
Colin Wilson

Pubs just need to be investigated from the inside. The outside of The White Horse, Hertford is fairly attractive. It’s small, obviously an old building with an unusual seat. But the inside is quite fascinating.

To start with a little history. The building was grade II listed half a century ago, in 1973. Historic England notes the three houses date back to the 16th / 17th centuries. Nos 31 and 33 are now the pub. They were altered in the 19th century and extended in 1992/3. Its earliest known reference as a beerhouse is 1838. It obtained a wine licence in 1954, and its own Dark Horse Brewery opened in 1994. The owners are now Fullers Brewery of London.

The interior can best be described as small and cosy. On a chilly December evening the open fire was so inviting. The two bars downstairs can hold a dozen or so people in each. There are two similar sized rooms upstairs which can hold up to 50 between them. The stairs are narrow, with a rope banister – very useful when carrying drinks.

A look round shows interesting features. Downstairs the seating consists of redundant church pews – and that applies to the outside seat too. A couple of the pews upstairs are even padded. Upstairs original brickwork and studding is exposed. It’s not plastered or painted, adding to its interest.

There is the usual sign outside. A nice addition in one of the upper rooms is another White Horse, put up in 2022. It’s a large knitted version made by the Secret Society of Hertford Crafters (a.k.a. Yarnbombers). Also in the upper rooms are portraits to do with Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

The pub is locally listed as an Asset of Community Value. To sum up, interesting building, warm fire, decent beer and good company, with food available. Just what the doctor ordered.

Thanks are due to Dan Cory, the manager, for his verbal permission to include photos of the interior.

Address  31 -33 Castle Street, Hertford SG14 1HH
Geo ref:    532521  212382


Hertfordshire Inns and Public Houses. An historical gazetteer, by Graham Jolliffe and Arthur Jones. Pub Hertfordshire Publications 1995 accessed Dec 2022

A document held at HALS ref DE/L/2512, dating from 1838, refers to an out of court surrender of property in Castle Street. It mentions The White Horse beer shop.

This page was added on 23/12/2022.

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