From ArticleWorld

Inns have served travelers since ancient times, and offered weary travelers a place to eat and spend the night before continuing their journey. Inns developed with the development of public transport. Most inns stand next to highways. In the age of the stagecoach they were often points at which horses were changed and passengers either took a rest, a meal or halted for the night. Inns provided rooms, meals and rest for travelers and horses alike. They were also places were the mail was delivered and where the locals gathered to exchange gossip over bitters or a glass of ale.

Through the ages

Inns first came into being when the Romans introduced the system of highways, almost 2000 years ago. There still exist some inns in Europe which are hundreds of years old. The inns then traveled to England by way of Rome and struck root there. The old inn keepers delighted in calling their inns by quaint names. ‘The Hare’s Foot’ or “The Pure Drop’ can be only names of inns. Sometimes when an inn was next to a church, the master of the inn brewed beer to help raise money for church.

Inns also made their appearance in America. By the end of the 18th century, when the stagecoach had expanded travel within America, inns and taverns sprang like mushrooms along main highways. Ofcourse, with the advent of the railroad these soon gave way to large hotels.

Place in society

Inns, at one point of time, were the hub around which the whole village revolved. The master of the inn was an important personage and commanded respect from the general public. He had his finger on the pulse of village life because all gossip was either created at his inn or passed through its doors. Any person needing any information about anybody would first approach the innkeeper for help.

Dying out

Stables, however have given way to garages and stagecoaches to luxury buses and cars. The era of the inn is on its way out. Now if one comes across an inn, they are there more to preserve a romantic ambience than for a practical purpose.