Although the Fox is the only pub listed in the central part of Palmers Green, this does not quite mean that it was the only pub in the area, or indeed in Palmers Green.
The Horse and Groom
Little is known about this pub on Bourne Hill, which appears to have had a licence before the Woodman and to have been situated in old cottages roughly opposite. Dumayne thinks that it was located near the entrance to the Greenway. It was demolished by John Donnithorne Taylor, who wanted an uninterrupted view on the approach to his house.
The Cock Inn / The Old Cock
On the junction of what is now the north circular, was the Cock Inn. Boudier says that there are indications that the pub may have existed as early as 1445, and Victoria County History gives a date of 1549. It’s possible that the buildings of the Cock were once part of a farm – Henrietta Cresswell, in her delightful account of observing the comet from near Pymmes brook, describes the pub in 1858 as the Cock at Bowes Farm. Several writers find possible references to it in 1611, when contender for the throne Lady Arabella Stuart (1575-1615) rested here while fleeing for freedom from the Tower of London, disguised as a man (she was recaptured at sea and died in the Tower).
The inn, according to Dumayne, was a wooden building, set back from the road, with plenty of space for carriages, with a garden extending to Pymmes brook, and in the 19th century was run by three charming sisters who attributed their strong constitution to spending one day a month in bed fasting, and who sold pea soup instead of beer in the winter. They retired in 1885, which lead to the rebuilding of the pub.
It has had many names since then, and was once a drinking hole frequented by the Tottenham Hotspur football club. In its incarnation as Legends in the 1990s, there was a life sized statue of John Lennon on the roof above the front entrance. It received a half million pound refurbishment in 1999 to become part of the Faltering Fullback chain and was equipped with 30 television screens and 10 pool tables.
Increasingly run down, it briefly became a Polish Sports Bar, before closing as a pub in 2010 and conversion into a continental supermarket. While it is sad to have lost a historic pub, the supermarket is frankly somewhat easier on the eye than the last incarnations of the pub had become.
The Kings Arms
There is one more lost pub in Palmers Green, on the site of present day Truro House. Dumayne states that the indications are that this was an ancient inn, which may also previously have been known as the Three Nightingales. According to Henrietta Cresswell, the Kings Arms was already gone by 1858. Oakthorpe Road was previously known as Kings Arms Lane.