Spotlight On… The Old County Courthouse

13522798_10153604374596776_5159400791992396277_o Until the Court House was built in 1853 The Old Bull Inn (then The Black Bull) served as the Court House and Police Station for Royston.

The County Court House was erected on Fish Hill in 1849, apparently on the site of a ‘tinkers shop which had a farm homestead behind it’ (Kingston 1906, 202*). The building itself is a single-storied structure of colour washed gault brick with stucco dressings. The elevations are of neo-classical style and feature a symmetrical frontage with a central arched and pilastered doorway. A date stone has been placed on the centre frieze, on the north face of the building.


By 1910 Special and Petty sessions of the County Magistrates (criminal matters) were heard at the police station on Priory Lane. The County Court dealt with civil matters and sessions were held at Fish Hill until the early 1970s

Sometime in the 1970s (1974?) travel agent Premier Travel had their offices in the building and remained until 2000 when Urquhart Turl moved in. Saffron Insurance acquired Urquart Turl and it briefly had its offices at The Old Courthouse until Dish Restaurant moved in in 2010.


Dish closed at the end of 2012 and six months later the Courthouse reopened as Adhoc Bar & Kitchen. “Ad hoc” is a legal term meaning “for the purpose of”, which suits the venue and style perfectly. The bar features urban styling with a secluded mezzanine floor and an impressive spiral staircase wine cellar exposed through glass flooring.

For more information visit Royston Museum or

*A History of Royston, Hertfordshire by Alfred Kingston (ISBN 123036482X, 9781230364827)