The Royal Oak public house has been an important part of Collingham life since at least 1803, although there is some evidence that parts of the building may date back to the 17th century.
In the 19th century the Royal Oak offered livery stabling, hunters and carriages for hire as well as luncheons and dinners for commercial travellers and pleasure parties. It is still possible to see where the original entry arch was, although this is now bricked up.
Until c1900 the Royal Oak was known as the Railway Hotel, but for some time it boasted two names at the same time. It was called the Royal Oak and Posting House (1864) and subsequently the Royal Oak and Railway Hotel (1879).With the decline of the carriage trade, the posting house facility became secondary to servicing the customers of the railway, competing with the Railway Inn, an ale house closer to the railway station.
Royal Oak Hotel old.jpg
In the late 19th century the Royal Oak was an important meeting place and hosted a number of property auctions (including that of the Crown, further down the High Street). North and South Collingham was a thriving village and at that time with around 30 shops carrying out a variety of trades.
The name of the pub derives from the English Civil War. After Charles I was executed, his heir, Charles Stuart (later Charles II) had to go into hiding after he failed to usurp Cromwell at the Battle of Worcester. With the help of supporters, he hid in an oak tree at Boscobel in Shropshire until he was able to flee to France. At the Restoration, Charles declared that the 29th May, should be celebrated as Royal Oak Day in memory of the oak tree that hid him from the pursuing Roundheads nine years earlier.
In 1894 the Royal Oak was a Posting House . You can still see the arched brickwork where the Coach went through if you look carefully.