The Hen and Chicken
The Hen & Chickens in 1912
The “Hen & Chicken” was built about 1740 as a Chaise House where people met the Stage Coaches. This picture (left) taken in 1912 shows its position on the main road from Farnham to Alton at the junction with the lane, known as “Hen & Chicken Hill” leading to Upper Froyle.
Hen and ChickensFor some considerable time it was called the “Hen & Chickens” - the sign (right) is a blowup from the lower picture which was taken around 1900. Certainly the 1912 photograph shows it as “Hen and Chicken”.
The Census is even more confusing as it has ‘Chickens’ in 1841, 1871, 1881 and 1901 and ‘Chicken in 1851, 1861 and 1891. Today it is the “Hen and Chicken”!
Hen & Chickens around 1900
The fireplace at the Hen & Chicken
This is the fireplace in the “Hen & Chicken” and shows clearly the racks that held the letters, and the benefits of an inglenook fireplace!
The elderly gentleman sitting in the fireplace is believed to be Mr Rawson, the landlord in the early 1900s.During that period the Inn became a gathering place for horse dealers and other ‘travellers’ and occasionally tempers would flare, and Mr.Rawson, apparently had a unique way of dealing with them. Like many country people, he kept bees and one particular day, when things started to get out of hand, he brought them into the pub and set them on the ‘travellers’. That soon cleared the room! After that he only had to say “Do you want me to let my little friends out?” and peace reigned.
Hen & Chicken in 2007
Today’s “Hen and Chicken” is relatively the same as one hundred years ago, although additional dormer windows have been added in the roof, a single storey extension has been added nearest the camera and the entrance porch has been enlarged.
The tree by the front entrance has been removed.
The road is no longer the main A31; a dual carriageway was built to the left of the picture and the ‘old’ A31 is now a service road to the Hen & Chicken, Turnpike Cottages and the petrol station which was built next door.