Public houses have played a central part in the life of rural villages for at least the past 500 years. A survey in 1577 of drinking establishment in England and Wales for taxation purposes recorded 14,202 alehouses, 1,631 inns, and 329 taverns, representing one pub for every 187 people.
In the past the parish of Forncett has had at least six public houses, and in the 1939 register it still had four for a population of 723, one pub for every 180 people. By contrast today Forncett has just one pub for well over 1000 residents.
The six pubs known to have existed in different parts of the parish are:
The Chequers 1789-1983 Forncett St Mary
The Norfolk Arms 1790-1908 Forncett St Peter
The Horse Shoes 1790-1851 Forncett End
The Trowel and Hammer 1836-1955 Forncett End
The Safety Valve 1851-1970 Forncett St Peter
The Jolly Farmers 1861- present Forncett End