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East Common The Sheepwash

Between 1841 and 1854, on a piece of freehold land on the lower side of East common, Matthew Pratt built four houses. It was the two nearest the area known as the Moor which became, around 1862, a beerhouse. It was leased to various tenants until 1921 for rents of £21 (1879), £50 (1899), so it appears to have been a popular place. Indeed The Moor was used by shepherds to dip their sheep. This right had been the subject of a long running dispute between the Abbot of St Albans, under whom the Priory in Redbourn operated and the Earl of Warwick, Thomas de Beauchamp and the villagers of Flamstead which was finally resolved by a meeting  on Redbourn Heath in 1383. Both claimed the Heath but the Abbot won the day as he explained that the bones of Amphibalus had been found there and a priory had been built in his honour by the Abbey. However, the Abbot agreed that the villagers of Flamstead had the right to drive their herds across the Heath on the way to market in St Albans. They were also allowed to bring their sheep to the river and dip them for two hours only a day.

In 1921 the beerhouse was sold for £330 to William Austin and became a two houses again.

Sheepwash 1920's

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