The Three Horseshoes is situated in the picturesque Hertfordshire village of Letchmore Heath, a few miles north of London and just moments from Junction 5 of the M1. The 'Shoes, as she is affectionately known to locals, oozes the timeless charm and character of a bygone era. Proudly overlooking the village green and duck pond, surrounded by rambling countryside favoured by walkers and those of a canine, equestrian and generally outdoorsy persuasion, the pub's open fires provide cosy shelter from the elements during the colder winter months whilst the extensive outdoor frontage and abundant gardens offer the perfect backdrop for al fresco drinks and dining when the warmer months resume.
As befitting an antique drinking establishment located in the wilderness of yore, The 'Shoes has a long, colourful history with no shortage of glitz and glamour befalling her near and distant past.
The pub has certainly seen more than her fair share of the silver screen spotlight, making numerous TV & Film appearances due to her unique character and idyllic setting, as well as being in close proximity to Elstree TV & Film Studios.
Having provided the setting for hit 60's cult horror flick The Village Of The Damned and the more recent rom-com Love's Kitchen, that included a cameo appearance by Gordon Ramsay, she has also has featured in episodes of The Professionals, Minder and The Avengers and even provided the backdrop for Little Britain's "I'm the only gay in this village" scene.
Records indicate that the first building on the site appeared around 1560-1570. It’s initial use, although a little unclear, suggests it was used by a farrier or blacksmith. Being the last village on the journey northward out of London, it was ideally situated for having horses re-shod before a long ride. Indeed, one of several explanations as to how the pub acquired it’s name lies therein...
It is said that, when asking for directions to the nearest ale house, locals directed prospective customers to follow the three horseshoes. That being a logical explanation as many of the horses, having lost a shoe and hence creating a three horse-shoe trail, would have diverted towards the known workplace of a farrier or blacksmith adjoining the ale-house.
Another explanation, that being the farrier having the three different sizes of shoe available i.e. pony, horse and cobb or shire, nailed to the doorway is an equally plausible though somewhat less romantic explanation.
The first specific formal use of the current building as a pub was in 1803, when the current main bar was built adjoining two of the three bays of the original building, which are thought to have been first built in an L-shape.
Present Landlord Danny Williams, a 3rd generation publican, has a long-standing relationship with both the local area and The ‘Shoes, having regularly frequented the Pub over many years. Danny recalls sitting on The Village Green as a child, watching Morris dancers and Tug-O-Wars as people perused the wares of local craft stalls or fed the ducks. More recently, he lived on nearby Home Farm and was a Personal Trainer and Manager at The David Lloyd Club in Bushey.
Danny's veteran publican parents, Graham & Pam, ran the extremely popular Foresters Arms on Bushey Heath for many years before moving to Mallorca and Spain before returning to The Merry Fiddlers, another village pub in Epping, Essex, for a final swan-song before retiring.
It was during his parents tenure at ‘The Foresters’ that Danny cut his teeth in the pub trade, in between various foreign escapades, having also previously earned his pocket money bottling up before school and collecting glasses at weekends at their previous pub The Lord Nelson, near the Angel in Islington, North London. After numerous spells working for his parents, Danny pursued a variety of career and business interests before his main passion, rugby, made a career in the fitness industry an obvious move.
He started playing rugby for Wembley RFC in Wealdstone, as a result of a of a dare by a few team members that were Foresters regulars. He went on to play for Harrow RFC in Stanmore, then joining local side Tabard RFC, just down the road in Radlett, before injury forced his retirement after a brief return to Harrow as player-coach. As a personal trainer he worked at the nearby David Lloyd Club in Bushey, becoming Health & Fitness Manager with a personal training clientele that included many celebrities, sports people and high-profile business clients. Danny even made an appearance on The Vanessa Show but feels having a face more suited to radio stopped his TV career in it’s tracks.
Following a thirteen year sabbatical to Putney, South West London, where a career in property culminated in his owning a couple of High Street estate agency businesses, Danny returned to his previous stomping ground in July 2015 to take on The ’Shoes.