The loss of the Green Man pub in Muswell Hill, at first sight is not such a big deal. After all it was just an old pub that changed hands quite frequently, and if no one wants to drink there then shouldn’t the space go to some better use? In fact once the pub has disappeared it is a really important link with the past gone too.
Before the Great North Road was the major route out of London (or the A1 as we now know it) the way to the north was through Muswell Hill. We’re talking as far back as the 14th century. The road turned right where Holloway Road station now is, and then followed Hornsey Road through Crouch End, up the hill and then through Friern Barnet to Finchley and beyond.
As you can imagine getting up the hill was thirsty work and it was common practice to have a drink once you got to the top and enjoy the views too.
So the Green Man is the last in a long line of inns or pubs to sustain travellers after their trek up the hill.
Next time you pass the site, think of all those who rested here a while over hundreds of years, before the next stage of their journey.
Update July 2016. All signs of the pub are gone. That’s sad.