High St. No. 71. The Crown (The Brewer House, the Country House, Italian Restaurant, Enchanted Tearooms)
This building was constructed in the 16th (the deeds suggest the date of 1539), and 17th centuries. The beams that can be clearly seen in the north wall of the carriageway are 16th century, but the beams over the space are imitation. In the early 19th century, the front was bricked and painted. There are three windows on the first floor, but one has been bricked up. The roof has plain tiles with a rebuilt ridge stack above the door.
By the mid-18th century the building was functioning as an inn, as it appears in the Redbourn Militia lists. The inn holder in 1761 was John Cudd, his family also oversaw the operation of a windmill half way along the road to St Albans. It passed to the Lever family in the 1770’s and then to the Bowstreet family. During these years it was owned by the Brandreth family. By 1807, the title was held the Searanckes, an important family as they bought the house opposite (a beer house, then later the Queen Victoria public house) and also ran the Kingsbury Brewery. This family, Flemish in origin, have been credited with introducing the hop to Hertfordshire in the 16th century. Tenants during the 19th century included, John Peddlar, (also known in the village for his saddlery and harness making skills), William Lord (also a painter), John Walker (also a plumber). In 1889, all the family’s properties in the village went on sale and were bought by Lady Glamis. The inn closed in 1910 when the licencee was Mrs. Hermon Taylor. Since that time it has been (1940’s – 1967) The Copper Kettle – a tea room, The Country House Restaurant (1967-1991) and later an Italian restaurant, and now a tea room.
The right of access through the passageway to Crown Street and was bought in 1866 by the village. The inn gave its name to the street.