The Trust of the turnpike road, which came into use in the 1760s, felt there was a need to establish a toll gate at the cross roads, and a corner-facing brick-built tollkeeper’s house was constructed.

The toll gate encouraged the siting of a public house – the Three Horseshoes – and an adjacent farrier.  With time one or two other cottages for agricultural labourers were added.  At nearby Nast Hyde smallholdings were established, providing sufficient land for a family to be fed throughout the year.  The main road, no doubt, was a key link to tenants’ access to the markets at St Albans and Bishops Hatfield, now Hatfield.

The Three Horseshoe pub

Before World War Two the hamlet on Hatfield Road was known by the name of this public house, The Horseshoes.  Especially appropriate given that the beer house opposite was known as the Four Horseshoes, although in the 19th century it was known variously as the Tom and Jerry and The Ship.

The original Smallford community by then was limited to the farm and a pair of cottages, and the Horseshoes became known as Smallford.  We have no idea whether this was by formal decision or by common usage.

The Three Horseshoes pub sign

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