Maldon's Inns, Taverns and Public Houses
The inhabitants of Great Britain have been drinking ale since the Bronze Age, but it was with the arrival of the Romans and the establishment of the Roman road network that the first inns called tabernae, in which the traveller could obtain refreshment, began to appear. After the departure of the Romans and the fall of the Romano-British kingdoms, the Anglo-Saxons established alehouses that grew out of domestic dwellings. The Anglo-Saxon alewife would put a green bush up on a pole to let people know her brew was ready. These alehouses formed meeting houses for the villagers to meet and gossip. Here lie the beginnings of the modern pub. They became so commonplace that in 965 King Edgar decreed that there should be no more than one alehouse per village. Traditional English ale was made solely from fermented malt. The practice of adding hops to produce beer was introduced from the Netherlands in the early 15th century. Alehouses would each brew their own distinctive ale, but independent breweries began to appear in the late 17th century. By the end of the century almost all beer was brewed by commercial breweries. The oldest recorded pub in England is the Ye Olde Fighting Cocks in St Albans, Hertfordshire. Inns are buildings where travellers can seek lodging and, usually, food and drink. They are typically located in the country or along a highway. In Europe, they possibly first sprang up when the Romans built a system of roads two millennia ago.