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 to the north from London, it was ideally situated for having horses re-shod before a northward ride and 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 told 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.