West Common The Jolly Gardener(s)
This house lies on the bridge taking the River Red under the old Hemel Hempstead Road. At one time the stream crossed the road. The building itself has a 16th century timber frame. It has two storeys and a steep roof. The upper floor sticks out (is jettisoned) on curved braces and is plastered. The rear wing is 17th century with a red brick chimney stack. There is a 17/18th century extension. It appears to have become a beer house in 1845 and into the 1870’s it also seems to have been the location of a straw plaiting school. By 1909, the property was worth £500 and was described as having an entrance passage, tap room, parlour, two cellars, kitchen, four bedrooms and at the side of the house, a yard with pigsty and hen house. The licence stayed within the same family from 1905 until 1962. In the 60’s the pub was described as having a long mahogany bar, and a skittle table. As a beer house it sold only beer, cider and soft drinks. Sweets, biscuits and cigarettes were sold in the evenings till 10.00 at the bar or the back door.