Before the Inns, Public Houses & Hotels were built, as we know them today, it was primarily the monasteries that gave lodging to travelers. However, an enormous strain was placed on such monasteries as the followers of Christianity increased and so a new type of establishment was needed. Monasteries and private entrepreneurs funded and set about building Inns. By the end of the 16th Century there were about 6000 across the country. The Bull Hotel was one of these, built in 1688 amid times that had just seen the Great Plague (1665) and The Fire of London (1666).
The name The Bull is said to derive from the surrounding grounds that date back to 1200 BC. The Romans under the instructions of Caesar occupied it during their great invasion of Britain. To defend their territory in this time the locals used Bulls which is another reason as to why The Bull Hotel got its name.
The Bull Hotel, all these hundreds of years ago was a sanctuary of wayfaring strangers, cutthroats, thieves & political malcontents – a far cry from the international business men and women and lavish leisure guests that we receive today.
The Inn, as it stood then, was a common haunt for the famous highwaymen that would travel up & down the A40 road that The Bull stands on, linking Oxford to London. The infamous Dick Turpin was just one of these thieves as was Mr Jack Shrimpton.
Shrimpton regularly stayed at The Bull seeding refuge & only 1 mile away held up an entire coach party of all their guineas. A regular at our bar he was eventually convicted of both murder & countless robberies. It is said that he took his last drink at the hotel before being executed on the 4th of September 1731. Our front bar is named after this “gentleman”.
It was English law that imposed social responsibility for the well being of travelers & therefore, made sure, that such Inn’s & hotels received travelers in reasonable condition. This was the first instance of the hotel inspectors that we know today.
By Royal Act selected Innkeepers, The Bull Hotel included, were required to maintain stables for the use of travelers. These stables were originally at the front of the building on the left hand side. With the many extensions that the hotel has seen over these hundreds of years you can now find us in the Guinness Book o Records for the Longest Single Frontage of any Coaching Inn.
Over the years it has seen many interesting owners and visitors. The infamous “Hanging Judge Feffries” was one such owner. The Hanging judge was a close friend of king James II & became Lord Chancellor in 1685. He was famous for his brutal & relentless treatment of criminals & had a strong belief in the death sentence.
He was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of men & sent thousands to Barbados as Slaves. His life came to an end when siding with King James II who was rebelling against the government, continuously dissolving it. They were captured trying to escape into exile & later died in The Tower of London.
The surrounding areas have grown considerable in both wealth and volume of the inhabitants. The construction of the Great Central Railway in 1906 gave a fast link to London Marylebone, which has attracted commuters from all over the World.
Gerrards Cross has a reputation for being upmarket and exclusive, with houses prices being considerable greater than the average. Outside of London, it had the most expensive postcode in the UK. The like of Sharon & Ozzy Osbourne, Angelina Jolie, Noel Gallagher, Cilla Black and many more homes are occupied by various celebrities.
The entertainers of yesteryear includes the likes of Sir John & Lady Mills – who lived in Denham and the great poet laureate John Betjeman – taught English at the local school.
The Pinewood Studios is a short distant away, which was the home of the “Carry On” and the world famous “James Bond” movies.
Enid Blyton, Terry Pratchett and Benjamin Disraeli had their homes in Beaconsfield, the oldest model village in the world, is only 10 minutes away.
Buckinghamshire is also the county of “CHEQUERS”, the country residence of the Prime Minister.
Submitted by The Reception Team at The Bull