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A new phase for The Half Moon pub

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Bishops Stortford General Views. The Half Moon. Pic: Vikki Lince
Bishops Stortford General Views. The Half Moon. Pic: Vikki Lince

A Bishop's Stortford pub is to be given a facelift and a new name

The Half Moon in North Street has new owners and management, who took over 11 weeks ago.

James Dunne, the manager, told the Independent that there were plans to redecorate, fix the roof and modernise the premises.

The pub will be closed for the refurbishment from Monday (October 16). It is anticipated that it will reopen in mid-December, in time for Christmas.

James explained that the new owners run award-winning St Albans pub The Horn. It is a popular music venue that has hosted Bastille, Enter Shikari, Motorhead, Newton Faulkner, Paul Young, The Animals and Wishbone Ash, to name several of the hundreds of artists that have performed there.

In 2008, it won ‘Entertainment Pub of the Year’ and ‘Live Music Pub Venue’.

There are plans to create similar success in Stortford, where local bands, as well as tribute acts, will perform throughout the week.

An announcement was issued on Facebook by the owners: “We’ll be reopening as (The Horn at) The Moon in December.”

The Half Moon has a long history. It was founded in around 1642 at a site a few doors away.

On its original spot, the inn traded under a few different names, and it is understood that its current name came about in 1752 when it moved to its present location; a reference was made in 1767 stating ‘formerly the Green Man and now the Half Moon’.

Around this time, Bishop’s Stortford’s weekly cattle market had earned a glowing reputation as ‘the finest in East Anglia’. The Half Moon became a lively venue for the traders and farmers.

Unfortunately, the pub’s popularity was short-lived; the owner went bankrupt in 1789. Hawkes, a Stortford-based brewery, bought the property.

Hawkes did not do any work to the Half Moon for 100 years. It kept the pub until the company was eventually sold to Benskins Brewery in 1898.

Since 1752, there has been only one attempt to rebrand the pub. In 1994, it was renamed the Tap and Spile, but the change was not a success and its original name was restored in 1999.

However, the 1990s were a successful time for the pub, as it was this era which saw the Half Moon become a permanent host to the Bishop’s Blues Club, held on the last Wednesday of every month, and since 1994 the venue has hosted talented acts from Britain, America and Europe.

To find out more about the history of the Half Moon, visit www.stortfordhistory.co.uk

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