13. The Cock Hotel
Cock Hotel Stony Stratford
The Cock Hotel is the largest and arguably the most famous old coaching inn/hotel in Stony with a history going back centuries. A John Cok was the landlord in about 1480, and the hotel takes its name from him, not the bird depicted on the sign.
In the 17th century, the Cock could sleep 20 men and provide stabling for their horses. By the next century this capacity had doubled.

Cock Hotel signThere were two main reasons for this. One was the huge fire of Stony Stratford in 1742 which started in the nearby Bull Hotel and spread down to the river and beyond, destroying many buildings including the Cock Hotel and the old Parish Church. The Cock Hotel was rebuilt with increased capacity, a new frontage, and the wonderful wrought iron work bearing the hotel sign, as seen here.

The second major reason for the hotel's growth was the rise of the coaching trade in the eighteenth century, and Stony's prominence as a stopover point for famous coaches such as the "Manchester Flyer".
Cock Hotel 1907
Cock Hotel 2003
A 1907 view of the Cock Hotel The same view in 2003

Coach and Four outside the Cock HotelThis view gives an idea of the sort of trade the Cock Hotel did and the scenes outside which would be commonplace.

However, the photo was taken in 1901, and even then the glory days of the coach trade were long gone.

Cock Hotel outbuildings
Part of the stabling facilities behind the Cock Hotel are still visible today though the yard area now serves a far more mundane purpose.

Today's common form of personal transport needs no special facilities other than a hard standing area, and gets serviced elsewhere!

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