Widely thought to be the oldest existing building
in the ancient village of Ensham (now Eynsham),
the White Hart was originally constructed as a
Commissioned by the Abbot of the nearby Benedictine
Abbey of Eynsham to serve the outlying community
of Newland (hence Newland Street), the original
building was completed in 1366. As a Court House,
the building was of a "barn-like" structure
with an open roof to allow smoke from the fires
to escape the building. Some of the early "A"
frame oak beams still exist in the roof structure.
During the English Civil War, Cromwell's Parliamentarian
forces engaged in a siege of the Royalist stronghold
at Blenheim, were stationed in the area. Although
not an Inn at the time, it is more than likely
that some of the middle ranking Officers would
have been billeted at the White Hart.
The first record of an Inn on the site was in
1750, the license being issued in the name of
the Rose and Crown. This was changed to the Haunch
of Venison in 1780, and finally to the White Hart
in 1835. During these times, the Inn was famous
for its Piggery to the rear of the property (now
the garden area) and was a centre for Cock Fighting.
In the early 1800's, because of the location
of Eynsham midway between London and Birmingham,
and close to the Ox Ford on the nearby Thames,
the Inn became a Coaching House. 1828 saw the
construction of a stable block housing more than
thirty horses, part of which has recently been
converted to form the accommodation block.
More recently, the Inn has been owned by the
local Brewery of Clinch & Co, Courage, Moorlands
and latterly, Greene King.
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