Smith’s Tavern is a popular pub in the town despite the fact that it is upstairs to get in, up more stairs to the back room, and is narrow. All these features, while not ideal for the twenty first century, are there because the pub site is a fossilized medieval burgage plot.
This feature is most clearly seen by looking down towards the pub from the market place and looking at the roof line. The properties either side have been merged with their neighbours. However further west there are single units and a three unit shop of the bakers and café.
A burgage plot was a property owned by a burgess (local official) in a medieval town. They tended to be on main streets, or around marketplaces, so space at the front was at a premium. They are therefore characteristically long and narrow.
A walk around the heritage sites of Ashbourne can be found in the Ashbourne Treasures Town Heritage Trail, available from the Ashbourne Visitor Information Centre in Town Hall Yard on the Market Place.