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Sheep Street (north): Lamb Inn

Like the Bay Tree Hotel two centuries later, the 18th-century Lamb Inn comprises an accumulation of several properties. Three of them, running northwards and eastwards from the corner of Sheep Street and Priory Lane, were bought up by Thomas and Susannah Hucks between 1720 and 1734, perhaps in connection with the inn's creation. The oldest is a range facing onto Priory Lane, which includes a medieval window with four cinquefoil traceried lights under a label. The twin-gabled range in which it sits was probably a dwelling called Ivy House in the 1540s, and seems to have originated as a lodging for the medieval hospital nearby. Owners included John Barker (lessee of the former hospital in the 1540s), the clothier John Templer (died 1626), and the Davis and Glyn families, from whom the Huckses bought it in 1723. The main Sheep Street range, bought in 1720 and 1734, is of 17th-century origin, with ovolo-moulded windows to the rear, and formerly comprised two houses. That on the corner was owned by a broadweaver in 1715, and that to the east by a chandler in 1734. The inn itself was established by the late 1750s when the innkeeper was Thomas Merrick, and in 1760 the Oxford Journal reported the robbery of a traveller putting up there.

During the 18th century the building was remodelled for the coaching trade. In the front range is a small snug with a fireplace, perhaps a 'warming room' for coach passengers passing through Burford. A separate house to the east (or right), with a lower roof line, was incorporated in the early 19th century, having been a separate inn called the Three Towers from at least the 1770s. In origin it was a 17th-century house similar to its neighbours, occupied in 1734 by a cooper, and with an ovolo-moulded mullion window to the rear and Tudor-arched fireplaces inside. Twentieth-century alterations to the inn included rear extensions and a corridor, and stables in the rear courtyard were converted into accommodation. A mounting block survives outside.

See: Listed Buildings Description; RH Gretton, The Burford Records (1920),  450, 458; R Moody, The Inns of Burford (2007),  77–85, 88; ORO QSD V/1–4; R Moody, A Burford Celebration in Camera (1990)

Content generated during research for the paperback book 'Burford: Buildings and People in a Cotswold Town' (ISBN 13 : 9781860774881) for the England's Past for Everyone series

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