The National Gallery is an art museum in Trafalgar Square in the City of Westminster, in Central London. Founded in 1824, it houses a collection of over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900; the Gallery is an exempt charity, a non-departmental public body of the Department for Culture and Sport. Its collection belongs to the government on behalf of the British public, entry to the main collection is free of charge, it is among the most visited art museums in the world, after the Louvre, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Unlike comparable museums in continental Europe, the National Gallery was not formed by nationalising an existing royal or princely art collection, it came into being when the British government bought 38 paintings from the heirs of John Julius Angerstein in 1824. After that initial purchase the Gallery was shaped by its early directors, notably Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, by private donations, which today account for two-thirds of the collection.
The collection is encyclopaedic in scope. It used to be claimed that this was one of the few national galleries that had all its works on permanent exhibition, but this is no longer the case; the present building, the third to house the National Gallery, was designed by William Wilkins from 1832 to 1838. Only the façade onto Trafalgar Square remains unchanged from this time, as the building has been expanded piecemeal throughout its history. Wilkins's building was criticised for the perceived weaknesses of its design and for its lack of space; the Sainsbury Wing, an extension to the west by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, is a notable example of Postmodernist architecture in Britain. The current Director of the National Gallery is Gabriele Finaldi; the late 18th century saw the nationalisation of royal or princely art collections across mainland Europe. The Bavarian royal collection opened to the public in 1779, that of the Medici in Florence around 1789, the Museum Français at the Louvre was formed out of the former French royal collection in 1793.
Great Britain, did not emulate the continental model, the British Royal Collection remains in the sovereign's possession today. In 1777 the British government had the opportunity to buy an art collection of international stature, when the descendants of Sir Robert Walpole put his collection up for sale; the MP John Wilkes argued for the government to buy this "invaluable treasure" and suggested that it be housed in "a noble gallery... to be built in the spacious garden of the British Museum" Nothing came of Wilkes's appeal and 20 years the collection was bought in its entirety by Catherine the Great. A plan to acquire 150 paintings from the Orléans collection, brought to London for sale in 1798 failed, despite the interest of both the King and the Prime Minister, Pitt the Younger; the twenty-five paintings from that collection now in the Gallery, including "NG1", arrived by a variety of routes. In 1799 the dealer Noel Desenfans offered a ready-made national collection to the British government.
This offer was declined and Bourgeois bequeathed the collection to his old school, Dulwich College, on his death. The collection opened in 1814 in Britain's first purpose-built public gallery, the Dulwich Picture Gallery; the Scottish dealer William Buchanan and the collector Joseph Count Truchsess, both formed art collections expressly as the basis for a future national collection, but their respective offers were declined. Following the Walpole sale many artists, including James Barry and John Flaxman, had made renewed calls for the establishment of a National Gallery, arguing that a British school of painting could only flourish if it had access to the canon of European painting; the British Institution, founded in 1805 by a group of aristocratic connoisseurs, attempted to address this situation. The members lent works to exhibitions that changed annually, while an art school was held in the summer months. However, as the paintings that were lent were mediocre, some artists resented the Institution and saw it as a racket for the gentry to increase the sale prices of their Old Master paintings.
One of the Institution's founding members, Sir George Beaumont, Bt, would play a major role in the National Gallery's foundation by offering a gift of 16 paintings. In 1823 another major art collection came on the market, assembled by the deceased John Julius Angerstein. Angerstein was a Russian-born émigré banker based in London. On 1 July 1823 George Agar Ellis, a Whig politician, proposed to the House of Commons that it purchase the collection; the appeal was given added impetus by Beaumont's offer, which came with two conditions: that the government buy Angerstein's collection, that a suitable building was to be found. The unexpected repayment of a war debt by Austria moved the government to buy Angerstein's collection, for £57,000; the National Gallery opened to the public on 10 May 1824, housed in Angerstein's former townhouse at No. 100 Pall Mall. Angerstein's paintings were joined in 1826 by those from Beaumont's collection, in 1831 by the Reverend
Colchester is a historic market town and the largest settlement within the borough of Colchester in the county of Essex. Colchester was the first Roman-founded city in Britain, Colchester lays claim to be regarded as Britain's oldest recorded town, it was for a time the capital of Roman Britain, is a member of the Most Ancient European Towns Network. Situated on the River Colne, Colchester is 50 miles northeast of London and is connected to the capital by the A12 road and its railway station, on the Great Eastern Main Line, it is seen as a popular town for commuters, is less than 30 miles from London Stansted Airport and 20 miles from the passenger ferry port of Harwich. Colchester is home to Colchester United Football Club; the demonym is Colcestrian. There are several theories about the origin of the name Colchester; some contend, derived from the Latin words Colonia and Castra, meaning fortifications. The earliest forms of the name Colchester are Colenceaster and Colneceastre from the 10th century, with the modern spelling of Colchester being found in the 15th century.
In this way of interpreting the name, the River Colne which runs through the town takes its name from Colonia as well. Cologne gained its name from a similar etymology. Other etymologists are confident that the Colne's name is of Celtic origin, sharing its origin with several other rivers Colne or Clun around Britain, that Colchester is derived from Colne and Castra. Ekwall went as far as to say "it has been held that Colchester contains as first element colonia... this derivation is ruled out of court by the fact that Colne is the name of several old villages situated a good many miles from Colchester and on the Colne. The identification of Colonia with Colchester is doubtful."The popular association of the name with King Coel has no academic merit. The gravel hill upon which Colchester is built was formed in the Middle Pleistocene period, was shaped into a terrace between the Anglian glaciation and the Ipswichian glaciation by an ancient precursor to the River Colne. From these deposits beneath the town have been found Palaeolithic flint tools, including at least six Acheulian handaxes.
Further flint tools made by hunter gatherers living in the Colne Valley during the Mesolithic have been discovered, including a tranchet axe from Middlewick. In the 1980s an archaeological inventory showed that over 800 shards of pottery from the Neolithic, Bronze Age and early Iron Age have been found within Colchester, along with many examples of worked flint; this included a pit found at Culver Street containing a ritually placed Neolithic grooved ware pot, as well as find spots containing Deverel-Rimbury bucket urns. Colchester is surrounded by Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments that pre-date the town, including a Neolithic henge at Tendring, large Bronze Age barrow cemeteries at Dedham and Langham, a larger example at Brightlingsea consisting of a cluster of 22 barrows. Colchester is said to be the oldest recorded town in Britain on the grounds that it was mentioned by Pliny the Elder, who died in AD 79, although the Celtic name of the town, Camulodunon appears on coins minted by tribal chieftain Tasciovanus in the period 20–10 BC.
Before the Roman conquest of Britain it was a centre of power for Cunobelin – known to Shakespeare as Cymbeline – king of the Catuvellauni, who minted coins there. Its Celtic name, variously represented as CA, CAM, CAMV, CAMVL and CAMVLODVNO on the coins of Cunobelinus, means'the fortress of Camulos'. During the 30s AD Camulodunon controlled a large swathe of Southern and Eastern Britain, with Cunobelin called "King of the Britons" by Roman writers. Camulodunon is sometimes popularly considered one of many possible sites around Britain for the legendary Camelot of King Arthur, though the name Camelot is most a corruption of Camlann, a now unknown location first mentioned in the 10th century Welsh annalistic text Annales Cambriae, identified as the place where Arthur was slain in battle. Soon after the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43, a Roman legionary fortress was established, the first in Britain; when the Roman frontier moved outwards and the twentieth legion had moved to the west, Camulodunum became a colonia named in a second-century inscription as Colonia Victricensis.
This contained a large and elaborate Temple to the Divine Claudius, the largest classical-style temple in Britain, as well as at least seven other Romano-British temples. Colchester is home to two of the five Roman theatres found in Britain, the one at Gosbecks being the largest in Britain, able to seat 5,000. Camulodunum served as a provincial Roman capital of Britain, but was attacked and destroyed during Boudica's rebellion in AD 61. Sometime after the destruction, London became the capital of the province of Britannia. Colchester's town walls c. 3,000 yd. long were built c.65–80 A. D. when the Roman town was rebuilt after the Boudicca rebellion. In 2004, Colchester Archaeological Trust discovered the remains of a Roman Circus underneath the Garrison in Colchester, a unique find in Britain; the Roman town of Camulodunum known as Colonia Victricensis, reached its peak in the Second and Third centuries AD. A hoard of jewellery, known as The Fenwick Hoard, has b
Brentwood is a town in the Borough of Brentwood, in the county of Essex in the East of England. It is located in the London commuter belt, 20 miles east-north-east of Charing Cross, near the M25 motorway. Latest figures suggest the town has a population of 79,000. Brentwood is a suburban town with high street. Beyond this are residential developments surrounded by open countryside and woodland. Brentwood has been twinned since 1978 with Roth and since 1994 with Montbazon, France, it has a relationship with Brentwood, Tennessee in the United States. The name was assumed by antiquaries in the 1700s to derive from a corruption of the words'burnt' and'wood', with the name Burntwood still visible on some 18th-century maps. However, brent was the middle English for "burnt"; the name describes the presumed reason for settlement in the part of the Forest of Essex that would have covered the area, where the main occupation was charcoal burning. Although a Bronze Age axe has been found in Brentwood and there are clear signs of an entrenched encampment in Weald Country Park, it is considered unlikely that there was any significant early settlement of the area.
At the time, most of Essex was covered by the Great Forest. It is believed that despite the Roman road between London and Colchester passing through the town, the Saxons were the earliest settlers of the area; the borough was on a crossroads, between of the old Roman road from Colchester to London, the route the pilgrims took over the River Thames to Canterbury. A chapel was built in or around 1221, in 1227 a market charter was granted, its growth may have been stimulated by the cult of St. Thomas the Martyr, to whom the chapel was dedicated: the 12th-century ruin of Thomas Becket Chapel was a popular stopping point for pilgrims on their way to Canterbury; the ruin stands in the centre of the high street, next to the tourist information office, the nearby parish church of Brentwood retains the dedication to St. Thomas of Canterbury. Pilgrims Hatch, or'Pilgrims' gate', was named from pilgrims who crossed through on their way to the chapel, it is however, that Brentwood's development was due chiefly to its main road position, its market, its convenient location as an administrative centre.
Early industries were connected with textile and garment making and brickmaking. During the Peasants' Revolt of 1381, Brentwood was the meeting place for some of the instigators, such as John Ball and Jack Straw, they met in local pubs and inns. The first event of the Peasants' Revolt occurred in Brentwood, when men from Fobbing and Stanford were summoned by the commissioner Thomas Bampton to Brentwood to answer as to who had avoided paying the poll tax. Bampton insisted; the peasants refused to pay and a riot ensued as Bampton attempted to arrest the peasants. The peasants moved to kill Bampton; the rioters fearing the repercussions of what they had done, fled into the forest. After the riot the peasants initiated the Peasants' Revolt; the Essex assizes were sometimes held here, as well as at Chelmsford. One such pub was The White Hart, one of the oldest buildings in Brentwood; the ground floor was stabling and in the mid-1700s the owners ran their own coach service to London. On 13 September 2009, the roof suffered significant damage during a fire.
Marygreen Manor, a handsome 16th-century building on London Road, is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diaries and is said to have been visited by the Tudor monarch Henry VIII when Henry Roper, Gentleman Pursuant to Queen Catherine of Aragon, lived there in 1514. It is now a restaurant. In 1686 Brentwood's inns were stabling for 183 horses. There were 11 inns in the town in 1788. Protestant martyr William Hunter was burnt at the stake in Brentwood in 1555. A monument to him was erected by subscription in 1861 at Wilson's Corner. Brentwood School was founded in 1557 and established in 1558, in Ingrave Road and behind the greens on Shenfield Road by Sir Anthony Browne and the site of Hunter's execution in commemorated by a plaque in the school. Thomas Munn,'gentleman brickmaker' of Brentwood, met a less noble end when he was hanged for robbing the Yarmouth mail and his body was exhibited in chains at Gallows Corner, a road junction a few miles from Brentwood, in Romford. A ducking stool was mentioned in 1584.
As the Roman road grew busier, Brentwood became a major coaching stop for stagecoaches, with plenty of inns for overnight accommodation as the horses were rested. A'stage' was ten miles, being about 20 miles from London, Brentwood would have been a second stop for travellers to East Anglia; this has not changed. Some of the pubs date back to the 16th centuries. Brentwood was significant as a hub for the London postal service, with a major post office since the 18th century; the most recent major post office on the high street was closed in the 2008 budget cuts. Daniel Defoe wrote about Brentwood as
Bridport is a market town in Dorset, England, 1.5 miles inland from the English Channel near the confluence of the River Brit and its tributary the Asker. Its origins are Saxon and it has a long history as a rope-making centre and of fishing from West Bay. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 13,568. In the 21st century, Bridport's arts scene has expanded with an arts centre, theatre and museum, it features as Port Bredy in Thomas Hardy's Wessex novels. The town is twinned with France. Bridport's origins are Saxon. During the reign of King Alfred it became one of the four most important settlements in Dorset – the other three being Dorchester and Wareham – with the construction of fortifications and establishment of a mint. Bridport's name derives from another location nearby. In the early 10th century the Burghal Hidage recorded the existence of a fortified centre or burh in this area, called'Brydian', accepted as referring to Bridport.'Brydian' means'place at the Bride', this name may have come from an earlier burh in the Bride Valley a few miles to the east, abandoned or not completed in favour of the harbour site at Bridport.
A probable location for an earlier burh is at Littlebredy. In 1086 the Domesday Book recorded that the town was called'Brideport'. At a date, in a reversal of a more typical derivation, the town lent its name to the river on which it stood; the Domesday Book recorded. In 1253 the town was awarded its first charter by Henry III, by the subsequent reign of Edward I Bridport sent two members to Parliament. In the 14th and 15th centuries, like other Dorset coastal towns, Bridport suffered heavy losses due to frequent outbreaks of the Black Death. Around this time the town was subjected to attacks by raiding French and Spanish forces. Since the Middle Ages Bridport has been associated with the production of rope and nets; the earliest official record of this industry dates from 1211, when King John ordered that Bridport make "as many ropes for ships both large and small and as many cables as you can". The raw materials needed and hemp, used to be grown in the surrounding countryside, though they were superseded in modern times by artificial fibres such as nylon.
Bridport's main street is wide due to it having been used to dry the ropes, after they had been spun in long gardens behind the houses. Ropes for gallows used to be made in the town, hence the phrase "stabbed with a Bridport dagger" being used to describe a hanging. In the English Civil War the population of Bridport supported the royalists. At the end of the war in 1651 Charles II stayed in the town as he sought to escape Parliamentarian forces after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester. Many buildings in Bridport in the main street, date from the 18th century. Bridport Town Hall was built in 1785-6, with its clock tower and cupola added about twenty years later. Older buildings can be found in South Street, include the 13th-century St. Mary's parish church, the 14th-century chantry and the 16th-century Bridport Museum. During the 19th century Bridport's population grew little, unlike many Dorset towns, although many sturdy buildings were constructed at this time, showing that at least parts of the population remained prosperous.
In 1857 the Bridport Railway was opened, which joined the town with the existing national rail network. This brought cheaper goods such as coal to the area. In 1884 the line was extended from Bridport's station to a new terminus on the coast at Bridport Harbour, renamed West Bay as part of attempts to promote it as a resort; the West Bay extension closed to passengers in 1930 and all traffic in 1962. The entire Bridport line closed in 1975. In the UK national parliament, Bridport is within the West Dorset parliamentary constituency, represented by Oliver Letwin of the Conservative Party. In local government, Bridport is governed by Dorset Council at the highest tier, Bridport Town Council at the lowest tier. In national parliament and local council elections, Dorset is divided into several electoral wards, with Bridport forming two of these: Bridport North and Bridport South. In county council elections, Dorset is divided into 42 electoral divisions, with Bridport being within two: Bridport Electoral Division and Bride Valley Electoral Division.
Bridport is in the county of Dorset in South West England. Measured directly, it is about 14 miles west of the county town Dorchester, 15.5 miles SSW of Yeovil in Somerset, 33 miles east of Exeter in Devon and 1.5 miles inland from the English Channel at West Bay. The town centre is sited between the small River Brit and its tributary the Asker, about 0.5 miles north of their confluence, at an altitude of 10–15 metres. Another small tributary, the River Simene joins the Brit to the west of the town centre. Bridport is composed of several small suburban districts, some of which used to be separate villages; these include Allington, Coneygar, Bradpole, Court Orchard and St Andrew's Well. One and a half miles from the town centre and within the town's boundary is West Bay, a small fishing ha
Royal badges of England
In heraldry, the royal badges of England comprise the heraldic badges that were used by the monarchs of the Kingdom of England. Heraldic badges are similar to the arms and the crest, but unlike them, the badge is not an integral component of a coat of arms, although they can be displayed alongside them. Badges can be displayed alone. Furthermore, unlike the arms and crest, which are personal devices that could only be displayed by the owner, the badge could be borne by others, in the form of a cognizance or livery badge, to be worn by retainers and adherents. Badges are displayed on standards and personal objects, as well as on private and public buildings to show ownership or patronage. Royal badges have been in use since the earliest stages of English heraldry, they are invariably simple devices, numerous examples were adopted and inherited by various sovereigns. These are found in the glass and fabric of royal palaces and memorial chapels, sometimes in the houses of those who enjoyed or anticipated royal patronage.
The earliest royal heraldic badge is a sprig of common broom, said to have been worn by Geoffrey of Anjou in his cap. The broom plant or Plantegenest, thus became Geoffrey's nickname; the heraldic device became the name of the dynasty, borne from him, to rule England for over 300 years. The Plantagenet kings would use this badge. King Henry II used the'planta genista' as well as an escarbuncle. King Richard I used a star and crescent device, adopted by his brother King John. King Henry III adopted the star and crescent, his son Edward I in addition to these, added the golden rose device that he inherited from his mother Eleanor of Provence. King Edward II further added the golden castle of Castile, inherited from his mother Eleanor of Castile, it was Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York who adopted the Plantagenet name for him and his descendants in the 15th century. It is obscure why Richard chose the name but it emphasised Richard's hierarchal status as Geoffrey's, six English kings', patrilineal descendant during the Wars of the Roses.
The retrospective usage of the name for all Geoffrey's male descendants became popular in Tudor times encouraged by the added legitimacy it gave Richard's great-grandson, King Henry VIII of England. Badges came into general use by the reign of King Edward III; the king himself deployed many badges alluding to his lineage, as well as new personal devices. Citations BibliographyBedingfeld, Henry. Heraldry. London: Bison Books Ltd. ISBN 1-85422-433-6. Brooke-Little, J. P. FSA, Boutell's Heraldry, London: Frederick Warne LTD, ISBN 0-7232-3093-5 Pinches, John Harvey & Rosemary, The Royal Heraldry of England, Heraldry Today, Buckinghamshire: Hollen Street Press, ISBN 0-9004-5525-X Fox-Davies, Arthur Charles. A Complete Guide to Heraldry. New York: Dodge Pub. Co. ISBN 0-517-26643-1. Siddons, Michael Powell. Heraldic Badges in England and Wales. 2.1. Woodbridge: Society of Antiquaries/Boydell. ISBN 9781843834939. Willement, Regal Heraldry, London: W. Wilson Heraldic badge Royal Standards of England Royal Supporters of England Queen's Beasts Royal Arms of England Prince of Wales's feathers
A tall tale is a story with unbelievable elements, related as if it were true and factual. Some stories such as these are exaggerations of actual events, for example fish stories such as, "That fish was so big, why I tell ya', it nearly sank the boat when I pulled it in!" Other tall tales are fictional tales set in a familiar setting, such as the European countryside, the American frontier, the Canadian Northwest, or the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Things are told in a way that makes the narrator seem to have been a part of the story, are good-natured; the line between legends and tall tales is distinguished by age. The tall tale is a fundamental element of American folk literature; the tall tale's origins are seen in the bragging contests that occurred when the rough men of the American frontier gathered. The tales of legendary figures of the Old West, some listed below, owe much to the style of tall tales; the semi-annual speech contests held by Toastmasters International public speaking clubs may include a Tall Tales contest.
Each and every participating speaker is given three to five minutes to give a short speech of a tall tale nature, is judged according to several factors. The winner proceeds to the next level of competition; the contest does not proceed beyond any participating district in the organization to the International level. The comic strip Non Sequitur sometimes features; some stories are told about exaggerated versions of actual historical individuals: Johnny Appleseed – A friendly folk hero who traveled the West planting apple trees because he felt his guardian angel told him to Johnny Blood – An American football player whose reputation for wild behavior was as well known as his on-field play Jim Bowie – A Kentuckian frontiersman, Texas Ranger, land speculator who fought for the Texan cause in the Battle of the Alamo. He is known for the Bowie knife. Daniel Boone – Blazed a trail across Cumberland Gap to found the first English-speaking colonies west of the Appalachian Mountains Aylett C. "Strap" Buckner – An Indian fighter of colonial Texas Davy Crockett – A pioneer and U.
S. Congressman from Tennessee who died at the Battle of the Alamo Mike Fink – The toughest boatman on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, a rival of Davy Crockett. Known as the King of the Mississippi River Keelboatmen Peter Francisco – American Revolutionary War hero. John Henry – A mighty steel-driving African American Calamity Jane – A tough Wild West woman Jigger Johnson, a lumberjack and log driver from Maine, known for his numerous off-the-job exploits, such as catching bobcats alive with his bare hands, drunken brawls Casey Jones – A brave and gritty railroad engineer Nat Love known as "Deadwood Dick", was born a slave in Tennessee in 1854. Tales of his adventures after emancipation, as a cowboy and as a Pullman porter, gained such fantastical elements as to be considered tall tales Sam Patch – An early 19th-century daredevil who died during a jump on Friday the 13th Molly Pitcher – A heroine of the American Revolutionary War Subjects of some American tall tales include legendary figures: Tony Beaver – A West Virginia lumberjack and cousin of Paul Bunyan Pecos Bill – legendary cowboy who "tamed the wild west" Paul Bunyan – huge lumberjack who eats 50 pancakes in one minute and dug the grand canyon with his axe Cordwood Pete – Younger brother to lumberjack Paul Bunyan Febold Feboldson – A Nebraska farmer who could fight a drought Johnny Kaw, a fictional Kansan whose mythological status itself was in one sense a figment, in that it was created in 1955.
Adherents of this assessment deem such stories fakelore Joe Magarac – A Pittsburgh steelworker made of steel Alfred Bulltop Stormalong – An immense sailor whose ship was so big it scraped the moon Similar storytelling traditions are present elsewhere. For instance: The Australian frontier inspired the types of tall tales that are found in American folklore; the Australian versions concern a mythical station called The Speewah. The heroes of the Speewah include: Rodney Ansell Big Bill – The dumbest man on the Speewah who made his living cutting up mining shafts and selling them for post holes Crooked Mick – A champion shearer who had colossal strength and quick wit. Another folk hero in Australian folklore is Charlie McKeahnie, the hero of Banjo Paterson's poem "The Man from Snowy River", whose bravery and risk-taking could epitomise the new Australian spirit; the Canadian frontier has inspired the types of tall tales that are found in American folklore, such as: French Canadian tales of Big Joe Mufferaw, a giant of a lumberjack and woodsman from the Ottawa Valley, loosely based on real-life lumberjack Joseph Montferrand Johnny Chinook, a Canadian cowboy and rancher Métis of the Canadian West's Alberta Ti-Jean, a giant 10-year-old French-Canadian lumberjack boy Sam McGee, the hero of Robert Service's poem "The Cremation of Sam McGee" Some European tall tales include: Toell the Great was one of the great tall tales of Estonia.
The Babin Republic, in Renaissance Poland was a satirical society dedicated to mocking people and telling tall tales Juho Nätti, known as Nätti-Jussi, was a Finnish lumberjack known for telling tall tales. The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (16th
White Hart Inn, Crawley
The White Hart Inn known as the White Hart Hotel, is a coaching inn on the High Street in Crawley, a town and borough in West Sussex, England. Built in the late 18th century to replace an older inn under the sign of the White Hart, it served as Crawley's main post office for most of the 19th century, still operates as a public house in the 21st century, its timber-framed structure, which incorporates part of an early 17th-century building, is characteristic of the area. It is designated a Grade II Listed building. Crawley developed as a Wealden market town and ironmaking centre, focused on its north–south High Street, from the 13th century onwards; this street formed part of the main road from the capital city, London, to the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton. After the road was turnpiked in stages between the late 17th century and the mid-18th century, Crawley's position exactly halfway between the two allowed it to develop a prominent new role as a convenient stop for stagecoach passengers and drivers.
By the late 18th century, it had become Sussex's main staging-post for journeys to and from London, as the neighbouring towns of Horsham and East Grinstead fell out of favour. To fulfil this role, Crawley needed plenty of venues to entertain guests for a few hours or overnight, with rooms to accommodate overnight stops and facilities for changing teams of horses. Several medieval buildings on the High Street, such as the George Hotel, the Ancient Priors and the Old Punch Bowl, met this need to some extent, but none were built for that purpose: all had been adapted from existing structures with different uses; the Ancient Priors was built as a house with a small agricultural plot. The Ancient Priors in particular was too small to meet the demand for its facilities. In 1753—at which point it was operating under the name The White Hart—it was sold, soon afterwards became a farm; the proceeds were used to build a new White Hart Inn. A site 70 yards further north on the High Street was selected. Most sources agree that the new White Hart Inn opened in 1770, although some identify 1790 as the date.
Architectural studies made in 1995 and 2003 attributed a date of around 1600 to the southern part of the building, suggesting that the inn was built around the core of an older structure. The inn was successful at meeting the requirements of the increased coaching traffic, which had grown from one daily service in 1756 to five by 1790 and 30 by 1815, its facilities included accommodation for 180 horses. It was one of Crawley's centres of commercial activity throughout the 19th century: the town's main post office was based there between 1810 and 1895, a corn exchange existed between 1800 and 1883; the post office was attached to the north side of the inn, was demolished in the 1950s to make way for the Broadwalk—a pedestrian thoroughfare which formed an integral part of Crawley New Town's shopping centre. Crawley's oldest friendly society was founded in the White Hart in 1827, it was the venue for the events of the "Crawley Feast Day"—an annual celebratory gathering for the town's businesspeople, popular throughout the 19th century.
In 1863, Mark Lemon, the founder of Punch magazine and a prominent Crawley resident, organised celebrations at the inn after the marriage of Edward, Prince of Wales and Princess Alexandra. Stagecoach traffic declined in the late 19th century as trains, motor buses and cars successively became more popular, but some coaches continued to run until the 1940s; the White Hart Inn became a standard public house. As of 2009, it retains its original name, is now in the ownership of Harveys Brewery, a brewery based in Lewes in East Sussex, it is therefore a tied house. Harveys identify it as the busiest public house; the White Hart Inn was listed at Grade II on 23 February 1983. The White Hart Inn is a timber-framed building consisting of three bays on a north–south orientation; the exterior is clad in stuccoed brickwork, the roof is tiled, there are three brick chimneys. The southern section is the remnants of a timber-framed house dating from about 1600; this had a stair turret at the rear leading into the attic, but only the topmost steps of this structure remain.
The attic is still a separate space, now two rooms with one external window under the roof gable at the south end. The building was extended to the rear. In about 1830, an extension was built to the north, it has no timber-framing. No timber is now visible on the lower storey of the older section of the building