We had a really good question today from one of our visitors:
“How long would it take to get to London?”
So a little maths later we had something of an answer…. but if anyone has any better information please do let us know.
Apparently a horse pulling a carriage can travel at 5-8 miles an hour. London to Broadway nowadays is just short of 100 miles although back in the seventeenth century there weren’t as many roads and they would have been full of pot holes. So supposing your horses manage 8 miles an hour (and we will allow half an hour to change horses every 10 miles) that comes to 17 and a half hours. That’s quite an epic trip. Imagine doing such a journey today? And that’s dependent on clement weather!!
And what prompted the question? The Ashmolean Museum Broadway was once a coaching inn back in the seventeenth century, on a busy road running from Worcester to London. A law passed by Queen Elizabeth I stated that towns and villages had to provide an inn every 10 miles along a road so that horses could be rested and the passengers relax a little, which really opened up trade and communication around the country. Broadway really cashed in with 33 coaching inns just in this small village.
Today only the nearby Lygon Arms (once the White Hart) and the building that is now the Ashmolean Museum (once the Angel Inn) survive.
For a taste of the seventeenth century coaching lifestyle, and to learn more about this period, why not pop along to the Ashmolean Museum Broadway to see our beautiful seventeenth century furniture art and artefacts*, and perhaps pop in to the Lygon arms for lunch.
*(items from other interesting periods also on display)