It’s a Sign!
The latest item for cleaning at Hitchin is this lovely old pub sign. This sign dates to between 1850 and 1898 and was the sign for Boot Inn in Bridge Street. It is made of two wooden planks or panels joined together and measures roughly 45 cms x 30 cms (18″ x 12″). The Boot Inn opened in around 1800 and was where local volunteers were billeted in 1803 during the Napoleonic Wars. The inn changed its name to the Royal Oak in 1898. Its provenance connects it to the Newton Family, who were prominent landowners in the Bridge Street/ Bucklersbury/Tilehouse Street area of Hitchin, as well as being heavily involved in the Fire Service. The family initials can be seen on a series of bricks behind the Kings Arms pub in Bucklersbury. here is some interesting research to be done on the connection (if any) between the Boot Inn and the Newtons.
(Historical Information taken from “A Walk Along Tilehouse Street and Bridge Street” by Hitchin Historical Society).