About this image
Shown here before modernisation in the 1960's / 1970's. The Black Bull was a traditional inn and a recognised lodging house for travellers, dating back to the 17th century. The house is believed to be of much older, probably medieval, origin than the building which was built by Francis and Frances Parkes in 1673, with timbers and plasters found during the modernisation dating from the 16th century. The Black Bull Inn was the centre of social life in the village in the 18th Century, with dancing on festive occasions in the 'Ballroom' and touring theatre productions also being staged there. It was also a venue for official business with Manorial courts being held there from 18th century as well as parish meetings. As well as being a recognised inn, in 1724 Bull Farm was a holding of 70 acres forming part of the Ogston Estate. It ceased being a public house c 1877 and remained in use as just a farm. Ogston Estates sold the farm in 1953. The modernisation was carried out by Mr. E. Waller. Taken from 'A History of Shirland & Higham' by Gladwyn Turbutt, published 1978.