Rob Forsyth

Extract from Victoria County History

"Horse Fair was earlier called Huff or Hoof Lane and in 1771 Red Lion Street.  The present Red Lion inn in Market Place was a farmhouse until the mid 19th century,  but an earlier Red Lion, one of the principal inns in the town in the 17th and 18th centuries, was evidently a building of some antiquity. It was the residence of a merchant, William Billing (d. 1533);  in 1574 a herald tricked 'a skochen* in Mr. Billing's house', and the antiquary Richard Rawlinson recorded c. 1718 that on the door of the Red Lion was 'a lingfish with a bill through the body, by way of a rebus for the former possessor'. In 1682 a tenant of the inn was allowed boards for repairing 'Billing's chamber'.  The house passed from the Billing family in the mid 16th century and in 1623 was bought by Richard Cartwright."


*old english for escutcheon