Greengates Builders Merchants

Ever Wondered Where The Pub Came From?

The Black Death ravaged Europe 650 years ago and a historian claims it led directly to the creation of the pub.

The plague killed an estimated 1.5 million people in England between 1348 and 1350, but in its aftermath, with fewer people competing for work and land, living standards reached a height not matched until centuries later, said Prof Robert Tombs of Cambridge University.

Peasants had increased leisure time and freedom, so pubs became places for playing games, meeting and socialising. This was a good time to be alive as before the plague the country was feeling the strain on resources.

This was when the English pub was invented and people started drinking lots of beer and playing football and so on. That was in a way due to, or at least a consequence of, and wouldn’t have been possible without, the Black Death.

Serfs became free because they could simply say to their lords, 'Ok, if you won’t give me my freedom I’ll go somewhere else’. So if lords wanted their fields to be tilled, they had to give their peasants or vassals what they wanted, which was essentially freedom and a better life.

“The standard of living people reached in the 15th century was not exceeded until the 1880s after the Industrial Revolution. And the amount of leisure they took was not equalled until the 1960s.”

Although people had brewed ale for many centuries, and drunk in taverns, the late Middle Ages is said to have seen the rise of the pub as would be recognised in the modern day.

“so maybe we should raise a glass of beer to the Black Plague” says Greengates Builders Merchants Accrington, Lancashire.


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