The Chalk Man was conceived in the form and function of the alehouses of medieval and early Renaissance Europe. These drinking establishments differed from inns and taverns in that they did not serve meals or provide lodging to their patrons. Alehouses were primarily for the consumption of beer, wine and spirits. The drink of choice was beer, probably because it was cheap and plentiful. Alehouses brewed virtually all of their beer on the premises. An establishment’s reputation rose and fell according to the quality of its brew.
Alehouses varied in their construction. Some were little more than a stand or stall with an awning while others might be a converted farm building or the front room of a private dwelling. These places could be found in villages and towns as well as in cities. They were also located at crossroads and along highways to provide refreshment to thirsty travelers. The Chalk Man might have easily been situated in a Flemish market town or one of the channel ports of southern England.
The alehouses served as a center of news, gossip and social activity for a cross section of people. Pilgrims, soldiers and mariners would have been drinking together along with merchants, drovers and tradesmen. There was also the element of entertainment with music, storytelling and singing, as well as games of skill and chance. The alehouse was a place to relax and enjoy a brew with good company.
The Chalk Man was created for mirth, merriment and libation. It is our wish that you stop in and enjoy our hospitality whenever you come across our sign. We hope to see you soon!