The Inns of Bradford Street
Bocking developed as a bi-focal village, Church Street and Bradford Street were the two centres connected by Church Lane. In the great age of Pilgrimage (from the 11th century) Bradford Street was on the route from London and Canterbury to Bury St Edmunds and Walsingham. Special inns were built to accommodate the pilgrims and there was a Pilgrims’ Hostel (The Chapel of St James) in Bradford Street.
Later, at the height of the wool trade in the 17th and 18th centuries many inns served as sales venues where the weekly sales of yarn and cloth took place. Note that a number of Inns ceased trading around 1800 by which time the wool trade had come to an end.
Before piped purified water was widely available, and piped water only reached Bradford Street in 1920, beer was drunk regularly instead of water since the brewing process rendered the water safe. Of the many beer houses and inns that have existed over the years only the Angel now remains. In the early part of the 20th century Bradford Street had a number of beer sellers in addition to the public houses and there was an off-licence attached to Bocking Brewery.
Some of the details in the following entries come from Mike Bardell’s “Give Them Ale Enough”.