In the early days, the pub was known as the Royal Oak. When Charles II, whose symbol was the ‘Royal Oak’ was defeated in the Battle of Worcester in 1651, it was decided by the local landowner, the Duke of Buckminster, that the pub needed a new name. At the time he paid his staff in blue tokens, blue being the colour of his political allegiance. To signify where the staff could use their ‘wages’ the canny Duke named all his outlets with blue in the name. All his pubs had the name of an animal prefixed with blue. Blue Pig, Blue Bull, Blue Dog and Blue Horse to name a selection, some of the original pubs have unfortunately closed but none have ever decided to rename themselves. The Blue Cow Inn is a very old building dating back to 1273. It started life with one cottage, this is now the small dining area, with the bedroom above. In approximately 1550 two further cottages and an animal shelter were added. These are now the front bar and main restaurant. In the very early 1600’s all the rooms were knocked into one to allow a pub and Post Office to start trading.
To this day the street in Grantham that the Duke's merchants traded from is called Bluegate, and yes there is still a pair of blue gates at the street entrance today. If you look carefully around the countryside in this area farmers who lease from the current Duke still have to maintain blue gates on the fields.
We have two ghosts that we know of, one is a lady that appears in a window, and the other is of a dog, this however only appears in February in one particular room. Several other areas regularly have comments made that people have feelings or presences around them. Please let us know if you do. We also have a ghostly sign in the pub, a one-eyed man's face similar to ‘Fagan from Oliver Twist’ in a table top. Feel free to look for it, you may struggle as it is not easy to see. Ask a member of staff if you cannot find the face.