History of The Ostrich Inn, Colnbrook
The foundations of The Ostrich were laid in 1106, when Henry I was on the throne by Milo Crispen. It stands opposite the 17 mile stone from London. It was originally named ‘The Hospice’ but over the centuries it has been corrupted to it’s current name; The Ostrich.
As with most historic buildings, The Ostrich has seen it’s fair share of murders and they say that over 60 were committed here. Most famous of all were those committed in the 17th century by the landlord of the time, Jarman, who with his wife made a very profitable sideline by murdering their guests after they had retired for the night.
They had a trap door built into the floor of one of their bedrooms and when a suitably rich candidate arrived Jarman would inform his wife that a fat pig was available if she wanted one! She would reply by asking her husband to put him in the sty for till the morrow. The bedstead was hinged and they would tip the sleeping victim into a vat of boiling liquid immediately below, thus killing him.
Jarman and his wife’s activities came to an end when their greed got the better of them and they plotted to kill a well known clothier Thomas Cole. After persuading him to make his will before he retired, Jarman killed Cole. Unfortunately Cole’s horse was found wandering the streets nearby and caused a search for his owner who had been last seen entering The Ostrich! His body was found some time later in a nearby brook and some say that this Cole-in-the-brook is how Colnbrook got its name. It’s a nice story but whether it is true or not, who’s to say!
Other historical visitors to the Ostrich include Dick Turpin who used the Inn as a hideout, escaping the Bow Street Runners by jumping out of a window and King John who is rumoured to have stopped at the Inn on the way to Runnymede to sign the Magna Carta.