The pub first opened in 1544 as The Chequers and changed hands (and names) many times over the next few centuries:
1544 - The Chequers
1590 - Cross House
1618 - Kings Arms
1750 - The Ram
1775 - White Horse
1804 - The Fleece
1830 - The Rampant Horse
The names "The Fleece" and "The Ram" allude to the wool combing industry on which the town was founded. "White Horse" follows a trend of eighteenth century Inns adopting the name to demonstrate loyalty to the House of Hanover, the new royal dynasty, and possibly the name was dropped in 1804 to reflect the declining popularity of George III. Locals of the town must have liked the name "The Rampant Horse" as it's stuck for over 180 years.
In 1849 a railway station was constructed which was great news for the town but unfortunately meant a section of the pub had to be demolished to allow access to it. Before the railway station was built the land between the pub and river was known as "camping land", the "pitch" for the savage precursor to football known as "campball". Townspeople would gather to watch the game which had few rules and frequently descended into rivalry fuelled fighting, "amid shouting and roaring of the population the players were not disposed to treat one another gently." The contest for the ball "never ends without black eyes and bloody noses, broken heads or shins, and some serious mischief."
Since reopening, we have learned of births and deaths in the pub and many more events in its relatively recent history. If you have any stories or insights into the history of The Ramp we'd love to hear them. You can get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org