A historic pub has had a change of luck after becoming privately owned for the first time in decades.

The Three Horseshoes in Hatfield Road, Letchmore Heath was purchased by former rugby player Danny Williams last month.

The premises was initially due to change hands over a five-year period, but the purchase has come to fruition three years earlier than anticipated.

He said: “I think the pub chose me rather than me choosing the pub.

“It’s the sort of place that everyone has a history in, either they met their partner there or went on a date there or their parents met there and it’s a really special place.

“I remember having a packet of crisps and a coke on the grassy bank here, and now you have no idea the amount of freedom that I feel knowing that is mine.”

Danny’s parents were formerly publicans at the The Forresters in Bushey Heath, and Danny hopes that The Three Horse Shoes will be a family legacy that his sons take over.

The ex-Harrow RFC and Tabard RFC player intends to make the Grade II listed building a hub of the community with the high-end pub grub as the focus point.

He added: “If you can’t say it, it won’t be on our menu, we want to do the basics right.

“At the moment half of our customers eat here once a week, we serve good, honest food like your mother might make, except you won’t have to do the dishes after.

“The most important lesson I have learned so far in running a pub is to look after your chef and make sure that you are supporting them properly, and not just in a financial sense.”

The pub was registered as the first Asset of Community Value (ACV) in Hertsmere, a piece of legislation which preserves historic buildings from development under the 2011 Localism Act.

The building dates back to between 1560-1570 and was originally used as a farriers or blacksmith’s for horses to be reshod before heading northward from London to York.

Since then the pub has featured as an iconic backdrop for film and TV, featuring in the 19060’s horror film ‘Village of the Damned’ and in Little Britain as the setting for the ‘only gay in the village’ pub.