Amersham in 1775: the growth of coaching inns
We have presented the museum’s collection around five key dates, that reflect particular and important moments in the town’s history. For each of those dates we have considered what the town looked like, who lived in the town and related that to objects in our collection.
Amersham’s prosperity grows in the 18th century, with inns providing refreshment and accommodation for travellers. Coaches, travelling from London to Birmingham, and Reading to Hatfield, often stop in the town.
Who would I meet in 1775?
The most wealthy and influential person in the town is the Lord of the Manor, William Drake. Many local people are employed on his large estate and in his home, Shardeloes. Mr Drake also owns the majority of the town’s homes.
In 1758 work begins on the redesign of Mr Drake’s home, Shardeloes. The work is begun by architect Stiff Leadbetter and completed by Robert Adam in 1766.
What’s new in 1775?
In 1775 William Weller buys the brewery next to St Mary’s Church. The Weller family goes on to become a major employer. Later a new maltings is built and the brewery buildings extended, serving 133 tied pubs in the local area.
Many older 16th and 17th century houses are given fashionable new frontages in the 18th century. The impressive Apsley House is given its white facade and Hinton House has a brick facade added around this time.
The Drake’s family influence extends to the Church. Since 1753 the rector has been a member of the Drake family. They have a wonderful building for their home. Amersham Rectory is re-built on the hill overlooking the town in the 1730s, for the rector Reverend Benjamin Robertshaw.
Population: 2,171 people
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