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Royal Oak

Royal Oak CottageThe Royal Oak pub is mentioned in the 18th century poor law records but not in the earlier churchwarden accounts. The 1794 map  shows that a cottage called The Royal Oak was a cottage  at the bottom of Chew Hill.
The earliest record found so far was dated 1736 when payments were made by the Vestry committee  for quartering the White family at the Royal Oak. This shows it must have been a reasonably substantial inn that provided accommodation.
 It is possible that the Falcon Inn may have been an earlier name for the Royal Oak which had been ‘rebranded’ but the 1740 map suggests that the Royal Oak was on or near on the site of what is now Waldegrave House on Lower Street . A site close to Old Ford Farm is another possibility.
The 1766 ledgers show that the Cullifords  still held a lease on what the Royal Oak which had previously been occupied by the Blackmans. The 1766 ledgers suggest that the Royal Oak was no longer a pub  and that the New Inn had taken over.
The Cullifords also held leases for properties near Redsheard  near Chewton House   which was a possible site for the Unicorn but all of the inns had land attached to them in various parts of the village.
Edmund Rack’s survey c1781 refers to the New Inn and the Unicorn which was described as being the better place to stay but does not mention a Royal Oak.
 The 1839 tithe map suggests that the building now called Waldegrave House was already standing and was occupied by John Millard.
 The 1839 map also showed there was still a cottage on the site identified as the Royal Oak in 1794 which was occupied by John Adams.
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