The Black Boy Inn (Infamous watering hole)
Next, junction High Street and Springfield Road (erected May 1988)
The Crown Inn was a staging post on the Colchester-Harwich road, accommodating the post office since 1673. It was renamed the Black Boy in the 16th century, pulled down and rebuilt in the early 18th century, and was a popular meeting place throughout.
It played host to many important people, including the Duke of Wellington and Charles Dickens, who immortalized the place in his Pickwick Papers. A number of important local groups also met there, including the Chelmsford Poor Law Union, the Chelmsford Tradesmen's Clubs, the Chelmsford Pitt Club, Chelmsford Union Guardians, the Essex Medical Society and Parish Vestry.
On 5 January 1776, the landlord placed the following advertisement in the Chelmsford Chronicle:
"William Lakin begs leave to return his most grateful acknowledgements to the nobility, gentry, and others who have so liberally conferred their favours upon him; and takes the liberty of acquainting them, that he has through their assistance been enabled to fit up the said inn in a neat and commodious manner; and has laid in a large assortment of the very best wines, brandies, rums &c., which he proposes to sell wholesale and retail, upon the most reasonable terms. Neat post-chaises at nine pence per mile.”