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The History of The Hundred House Hotel
In medieval England the shires were subdivided into administrative areas called "hundreds." Communal hundredal obligations included suit to the hundred court (possibly the earliest ordinary criminal court); muster of the local defence force or militia. Justices of the peace (magistrates) first appointed in the 14th century, met at the hundred house. The earliest hundreds met in open air sites - distinguished by some prominent landmark such as a large tree, a hill or standing stone, with little more than temporary shelter from the weather.
The oldest part of this Hundred House still standing is the 14th century half timbered and thatched courthouse barn in the courtyard of the hotel. In this barn the local court was held for centuries and opposite the courthouse are the remains of the old stocks and whipping post for the punishment of offenders convicted in the court. Further along Village Road is an old ducking pond. At one time the landlord of the Hundred House was responsible for feeding the ducks on the pond and keeping the keys to the stocks, but the ducks have long gone to the fox and the keys have been lost.
By the 17th century a convenient alehouse was probably the usual meeting place for most hundreds, hence the frequency of the name Hundred House for public houses. The hundred courts survived until the 1840s when the new county court districts superseded them.
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