Lorry damages roof of 16th-century Bishop's Stortford pub The Cock Inn
The oldest surviving pub in Bishop's Stortford was damaged when it was hit by a lorry.
The incident happened at around 8am on Friday (Jan 29) at the grade II listed Cock Inn at Hockerill, which dates back to the first half of the 16th century.
The roof of the historic hostelry fronting Stansted Road was clipped by a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), causing tiles and other debris to fall onto the highway and pavement, part of which was later taped and coned off.
A car driven by a woman who had her young daughter with her was also damaged in the incident.
Publican Adam Curtis said: "A member of the public got all the details from the lorry as her car was damaged and [she] contacted me. The frightening thing was the lady had her young daughter in the car with her. The HGV driver did return and left his details for the brewery."
A police spokeswoman said: "The driver has exchanged details with the pub landlord. Cones were put round the pub as a precaution, to stop people walking past while the damage is assessed."
Adam said that the incident "couldn’t have come at a worse time". The coronavirus crisis has been disastrous for the town's hospitality businesses; many invested time and money to become Covid-secure, only to be closed during three lockdowns.
He leases the pub through Punch Pubs & Co, which he praised for its swift response to the incident.
The Cock Inn was built around 1547 and established as the Black Lion. It 1749 it was renamed the Vernon's Head before getting its current title at a later date.
Notorious highwayman Dick Turpin is rumoured to have frequented the pub in the 18th century – when the Cock was also used as a courthouse and jail. Of the four pubs that once traded around the Hockerill crossroads, the Cock Inn is the only one to remain.