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The oldest Freehouse in England
15 Nov 2019

THE ROYAL STANDARD OF ENGLAND at Forty Green in Beaconsfield, UK a countrified freehouse culture surrounded by a generous splash of glorious British countryside.  

It lived its changing times through history, when the Romans during the Iron Age granted land to tribes and settlers mostly German, Saxons, Angles and Jutes. Ale was brewed here as there was a good supply of water from the garden well. 

 ‘...the Saxon alewife (the brewer was nearly always a woman) would put a green bush on a pole as a sign that the ale was ready. ‘ 



The brewer’s cottage became the ale house because it was used as a meeting house to resolve disputes and make a toast to the goddess of barley. 

The alehouse survived the Dark Age’s raids and the Vikings’ invasions, at the beginning of 1000, because of its secluded location. Its history refers to the various kings of England, and has had an important role as a meeting place for troops leaders, a place where many legends survived, even a legend of a ghost still in the freehouse, a place where the then illegally strong ale – Owx Roger was brewed in Victorian times, sold to Marston brewery but can still be bought at the freehouse today. 



Although it has had dramatic restorations today it boasts a unique atmosphere featuring low and high wooden beams, nooks and crannies, gnarled timbers, worn flagstones, carved oak panels old art crafts and animal heads on the walls, and the golden Dragon as its main emblem which was used as a war banner of the royal house of Wessex. 

“The first mention of the inn, originally known as ’Se Scip’ (The Ship), was made in 1213, although it is likely that an alehouse existed on the site prior to this date.  However, it was not until after Charles II’s restoration to the throne in 1663 that the inn changed its name to the Royal Standard of England, the only inn in the country with the honour of this full title.  It is said that the new king bestowed the honour in recognition of the loyalty and support given to the Royalists and to his executed father by the landlord. It may also have been the case that Charles II felt obliged to do so as a reward for being able to meet his mistresses in rooms above the inn!” Source – www.



The bar was exceptionally interesting for us thirsty beer travelers we have enjoyed a few refreshing pints from the Cask ales! 

Chiltern pale ale brewed in Buckinghamshire by gentlemen of the Chiltern brewery -light, refreshing with hints of grapes and honey. 

Olde drip from Greene King Suffolk- a rich toffee flavoured beer with fruity character but bitter and dry 

Conqueror black Ipa from Windsor and Eton Brewery- rich and complex ale, a blend of 5 malts to give an intense roasted flavour and a fresh pine aroma 

We also had the Belhaven Black Stout from Scotland – a rich black stout with rich coffee aroma and lingering hints of dark chocolate and the Twisted Thistle again from Scotland - copper sparkling Ipa with a zesty grapefruit aroma and finishing with a refreshing bitter bite. 

On the food side, The Royal Standard of England offers a traditional Sunday roast fare but we chose to go more traditional as in fish and chips followed but the delicious bread and butter pudding and the Sticky toffee pudding to soak all that beer intake! 


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