In 1557, eight years before his son William was born, John Shakespeare was appointed to public office in Stratford-upon-Avon. Stratford had a long-reaching reputation for its brewing and John was one of the two 'able persons and discreet' chosen to be ale tasters. They had to see that ale and beer were wholesome and correctly priced and that loaves were sufficiently heavy nice work if you can get it! However, it was a serious business as offenders could be fined, whipped, stocked, pilloried, or humiliated on the ducking stool. No doubt some members of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ales) regret the day these punishments were repealed.
Sometime between 1556 and 1558 John married Mary Arden, the daughter of the wealthy Robert Arden of Wilmcote and owner of the sixty-acre farm called Asbies. The wedding took place in the 13th Century
Norman Church (Mary Arden's parish church) at Aston Cantlow - where Robert Arden is buried. The church stands next to the pub and it is reputed that the newly weds held their wedding reception here
at the Kings Head but then they would say that wouldn't they?
What is not in doubt is that William Shakespeare and his parents would have known the Kings Head and its ale. This is the quintessential 15th Century English Country Pub & Restaurant enjoying low
beams, flagged stone floors and open crackling log fires. Set in this picturesque and historic Warwickshire village, it is just a mile away from Mary Arden's House in Wilmcote and four miles from
The Kings Head at Aston Cantelow was Warwickshire's Dining Pub of the Year in The Good Pub Guide 2007.You can eat in the bar area or in the pleasant dining room to the rear of the inn (at no extra
cost) so it is well suited for every occasion. Real ale enthusiasts will be pleased to learn the pub stocks beers from the nearby Purity Brewery set up by
two former Bass employees, Paul Halsey and Jim Minkin, who between them have over 30 years experience in the brewery business.