This window may not look immediately familiar but it is hundreds of years old and gives an insight into the former use of a very well known location in the heart of Watford.

The window is located in the wall of the retail premises on the corner of High Street and Market Street previously occupied by Moss Bros.

Before it became a shop though, the building was home to a pub dating back almost 300 years – and the window is a surviving part of that building.

Yesterday, we began an A to Z look back at the pubs we’ve featured during the past three years as part of our weekly dip into the archives of our friends at Watford Museum.

The A to Z will continue in the next few days but today we are focusing on the former Compasses pub because of the significance of the window.

Watford Observer: The Compasses c1930The Compasses c1930 (Image: Watford Museum)

The museum’s volunteer archivist Christine Orchard said: “The Compasses public house (later the Joseph Benskin) was on the corner of the High Street and Market Street. The pub closed around 1980 and became a shop.

Watford Observer: The window from the early Compasses buildingThe window from the early Compasses building (Image: Watford Museum)

“The building we see today was constructed around 1928. There had been a pub here in the early 18th century and by 1740 it was described as having '5 large vessels in the cellar or vault with a brewhouse attached'.

Watford Observer: The pub looking onto Market Place c1910The pub looking onto Market Place c1910 (Image: Watford Museum)

“The little window that can be seen on the side of the current building would have belonged to this early building.”

Watford Observer: The window on the Market Street side of the building in August 2022 The window on the Market Street side of the building in August 2022 (Image: Google Street View)