Picture Above Taken Circa 1904
This former public house or the building is still in existence, although not in the form shown in the picture above. As you can see in the picture, it was residential, with stabling for guests through the archway to the right and a well placed currier and leather merchant next door. Although the front of the hotel says it was built in 1601, the facade looks as though it had been ‘modernised’ by painting on it black beams to give it a more ancient appearance. More than likely the building itself was old and had been given a face lift by enlarging the windows with those curious Georgian style sashes and covering the old wattle and daub with stucco and paint. As may be seen in other photographs of the town, cycling was in its heyday and the Royal Oak was obviously trying to attract what business there was from passing trade, by offering cyclists in particular, accommodation. Notice the donkey in the shafts of the cart — doubtless today the R.S.P.C.A. would have something to say about having such a small animal pull such a load. The hotel was pulled down in 1920 and the present even more grand Tudor type building replaced it, which was one of the many instances of the half timbered Victorian revival started in the 1860s being carried on into the 1920s.