The two principal inns were the “Red Lion” and the “Green Man.”  It was, and is now in some degree, a town of inns, but these were the headquarters of the two great political parties.  Neither was a “coaching” inn, for they despised trafficking with ordinary travellers, and devoted themselves wholly to the posting business.  The “Red Lion” was originally the “Antelope.”  Standing in the most favourable position for intercepting the stream of post-chaises from London, it generally secured the pick of business going that way, unless indeed the political bias of gentlemen going down into the country forbade them to hire post-horses at a Tory house.  In that case, they went to the “Green Man,” further on, which was Whig.  And perhaps, in sacrificing to politics, they got inferior horses!  The “Green Man” placed in midst of the town, was in receipt of the up traffic, and was the largest establishment, keeping twenty-six pairs of horses and eleven postboys, against the eighteen pairs and eight postboys of the “Red Lion”; and it is recorded that between May 9th and 11th, when, on May 10th, 1808, two celebrated prizefighters, Gully and Gregson, fought at Beechwood Park, Sir John Sebright’s place down the road, near Flamstead, no fewer than one hundred and eighty-seven pairs were changed

Next: The Battle of Barnet

Section 2:

The Age of Coaching


‍​The world of long-distance coach travel

Beginning to End
How long did the Great Age of Coaching Last?

Travel in the Coaching Age
The world of coach travel - surprisingly familiar; just slower and wetter

Where Could You Go?

A list of destinations which is remarkably familiar to the modern day traveller

London Coaching Inns

We’re familiar with railway termini but what were the departure points like in the Age of Coaching?

Famous London Coaching Inns

‍​Here are most of the coaching departure points in London, together withe here you could travel to from each one

Inns and Politics

An example of how politics influenced attitudes in some inns along the road

The Battle of Barnet

Not a war, just passengers trying to grab a bite to eat on the road

The Coachmen

‍​Coach drivers were an elite group, but as the coaching age declined, they lost their importance


Illegal, but overlooked by the proprietors, this was a coachman’s perk

William Chaplin

William was one of the most successful coach proprietors - and he survived the move to railways


Coach travel was not without risk. Here are some reported  coach accidents

The Royal Mail

The story of the Mail Coaches, how the mail evolved and what they were like




Go to Living Memories

Anecdotes written by people who actually travelled on the coaches

Go to the Age of Coaching

The coachmen, the inns, the coach proprietors - they’re all here. Come in and meet them

Go to the Roads

Britain’s roads were pretty impassable for most of our history.  Coach travel was very difficult until they improved

Go to The Coaches

Wheeled transport evolved over many years. Find out how coaches developed

Go to Home Page

Home Page of the Coaching Website


Sources and information about how I came to create this website