Thursday, 23 February 2012

When all this was fields. . .

Looking at it now, it's strange to think of Chesterton as a rural idyll. Yet even by the time this pub was built, in the middle of the 19th century, the rural nature of Chesterton was beginning to turn suburban following inclosure in 1836 and the subsequent influx of ‘townies’ from Cambridge. So the name of the Haymakers, and of the Wheatsheaf which used to stand on the corner opposite, were already harking back to a ‘lost’ age.  
As well as providing a popular (albeit often ersatz) name for a pub, images of haymakers resting (or sometimes frolicking) after a long day working (or sometimes frolicking) in the fields have long been a popular theme amongst artists. The scene on this sign is based on La Charette by Louse Le Nain (1600–1648).

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