Walks in St Neots will tell story of town's history

The old Cross Keys pub in St Neots High Street in the 1930s.

The old Cross Keys pub in St Neots High Street in the 1930s. - Credit: ST NEOTS MUSEUM

Now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased and larger groups of people are able to get together outside, the museum has been able to restart its popular town walks.

There are three walks to choose from this summer; two will explore the stories of local pubs, led by Chris Jones and a third walk revealing the history of the town which will be led by me. 

The Merrie Old Eynesbury walk (August 5) will uncover the story of the village of Eynesbury though its alehouses, beer houses, pubs and inns.

The Chequers Pub in Eynesbury which is still open.

The Chequers Pub in Eynesbury which is still open. - Credit: ST NEOTS MUSEUM

The stories revealed range from Anglo-Saxon drinking halls to money lenders chequerboards and the milkman's horse who liked a daily pint!

The second pub walk called Falcons to Whyte Lyons (July 15 and August 19) also covers many centuries of alcohol consumption, but focuses on the inns and public houses in St Neots town centre.

Discover the hotel with its own island and the old established St Neots inn that featured on the Antiques Roadshow in 2013. But why were there so many inns and public houses in St Neots or in any English market town?

On the one hand, travellers and visitors have needed a place for rest and refreshment since Roman times and secondly working men wanted a place to socialise outside the overcrowded family home.

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Before the increasing prosperity of the 20th Century, most working people lived in tiny cramped cottages, or just in one room of a larger house.

The opportunity to escape the chaos of family life was almost as important as the chance to purchase a drink.

If a pub walk is not for you, then how about the Mammoths, Monks and Miracles walk (July 7/21 and August 11/25) around St Neots town centre for a fascinating glimpse into the history of the town.

Find out when the woolly mammoth and the sabre toothed tiger roamed by the river, who was St Neot and what was the miracle that occurred in the town on November 28, 1935?

The walk takes in the river bridge, the Market Square and a car park. Don’t miss this opportunity to amaze your friends with little known facts about the town!

Walks cost £6 per person, tickets and full details are on the museum website.