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18 June 2014
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Legacies - Gloucestershire

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The Royalist Hotel
The Blood of The Royalist

Steeped in history, the Royalist Hotel in Stow-on-the-Wold has been used for various purposes over the centuries. The building has Saxon origins and was built in 987AD by Aethelmar, Duke of Cornwall.

The inn has been classified as the oldest in England, validated by The Guinness Book of Records.

A Royalist soldier
Some say it was built as a hospice for lepers, however, this seems unlikely when considering lepers weren't permitted within half a mile of the town.

It is probable that the building was used to look after the sick and act as a stop over point for people passing through the town. There is little or no evidence to suggest the uses of the Inn between this period and the 16th Century, as all records have been either lost or destroyed.

In medieval times, it was known as 'The Eagle and Child Inn'. Legend asserts that this name was chosen when a child was found in an eagle's nest and adopted.

The inn would have provided food, drink and shelter for people visiting the markets and fairs, and people passing through Stow. It is said that every old building in Stow would have acted as a tavern, as during the fairs every household was permitted to sell ale.

Stow was a very popular town for traders because its location gave it particularly good access to ports and cities. The town's inns and taverns would have witnessed many celebrations during the fairs, saints' days and pagan festivals that dominated the calendar.

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