Welcome to Walks From The Woodman

The Woodman, Wildhill is producing a booklet containing 10 walks that start and finish in the pub’s car park. The circular walks range from 2.6 to 8.5 miles long. Many use the same paths out of The Woodman car park before branching off to explore different areas of the local countryside.

Potted history

By Graham Craig


The Woodman during the coronavirus lockdown May 2020
The Woodman during the coronavirus lockdown May 2020

Notable dates and events


Owner: Marquess of Salisbury. First mentioned in 1851.

First landlord: The first landlord at The Woodman was James Lawrence. The pub remained in the same family until it closed in 1961.

Original building: The Woodman pub used to stand at the top right of the car park. It was demolished in the late 19th century. The present building was licensed from then.

Breweries: Originally Complins Brewery, then Hatfield Brewery which became Pryor Reid & Co Ltd in about 1882. Benskins of Watford bought Pryor Reid in 1920 and the Woodman remained with them until the pub was closed in 1961.

The Woodman as a Pryor Reid pub Photograph of a framed print hanging in the pub
The Woodman as a Pryor Reid pub
Photograph of a framed print hanging in the pub
The Woodman as a Benskins pub Image courtesy of Welwyn Hatfield Museum Services
The Woodman as a Benskins pub
Image courtesy of Welwyn Hatfield Museum Services
Petition: A petition to reopen The Woodman, signed by many local people, including Barbara Cartland, can be seen inside the pub.

The 1964 petition to reopen The Woodman - Image by Tom Craig
The 1964 petition to reopen The Woodman
Image by Tom Craig

Reopening: The Woodman was reopened as a free house in 1964, leased from the Marquess of Salisbury by the Walduck family.

Managers: Original managers were Bob and Betty Woods (1964-75) then Norman Simmonds (1978) followed by Dave and Ann Roberts (1978-1990), then Graham and Ros Craig (1990-2006). Graham Craig’s son, Tom, took over the lease from the Walduck family in June 2006 and is still running it.

Awards: Multi-times winner of South Herts CAMRA Pub of the Year and three times winner of Hertfordshire Pub of the Year. Also won Greene King National Pub of the Year.


1 comment:

  1. Graham, nice to read history. All the best to Tom, heal quickly, to you and Ros. From a friendly motorcyclist.

    ReplyDelete