Friday, 27 November 2015

The sun hotel

The Hitchin Lodge met in the Sun Hotel for far more than a century, most of which time there was at least one of the influential Shillitoe Family in attendance.
The Sun Hotel, in the town centre of Hitchin, is a charming traditional coaching Inn dating back to the 1500s.
From medieval times, Hitchin’s principal lodging and meeting place was the Angel Inn, situated in Angel Street. This building was burnt down in the famous fire of 1523, when Henry VIII was staying there, escaping "with not so much as a shirt on his kingly back". Although the Angel was rebuilt, the tenant of the adjoining tithe, owned by Trinity College, Cambridge, took the opportunity to build a rival – The Sun Inn. By the reign of Charles the First, The Sun had overtaken The Angel as the leading Inn of the town.
The importance of The Sun continued to increase, to the extent that Angel Street became Sun Street. The Hitchin Justices held their sessions in its commodious upper rooms as early as 1600. During the civil war, The Sun served as the headquarters for the three thousand parliamentary soldiers who were quartered in town. The Council of War met sometimes at Knebworth House, but more frequently at The Sun. The Sun was particularly popular with government officials. For example, the collector of the hearth tax, and later on the window tax, would always put up at The Sun.
The coaching era started for The Sun in 1706. The present front buildings were constructed circa 1717, and the great ball or assembly room in 1770 (this by the Duke of Bedford shortly after having renewed his lease for the premium of £1000). In the course of his work, McAdam (of 'roads' and turnpike fame) was often dining and deliberating at The Sun, especially with Samuel Whitbread (later of brewing fame). The Sun continued to be an important administrative centre.
The Hitchin, Shefford and Bedford Turnpike Trusts held their statutory meetings in the assembly room. In 1792, when it appeared that revolution might spread from France to England, a town's meeting was summoned at The Sun. The Cecil Masonic Lodge commenced at the Sun on 19 March 1838 and continued to meet there for many years. "The Story of the Sun Hotel, Hitchin (1575-1937)" by Reginald L. Hine and

No comments: