The building dates back to the turn of the 17th century, built from timbers of decomissioned ships from Portsmouth, which had originated from the great Windsor forest. The forest had at one time encompassed a vast area taking in the Hurst area. Therefore the beams in the oldest part of the building are well over a 1000 years old, if not more!
It was granted its first liquor licence in 1602 purely to sell ale. As an ale house it was vastly different in shape and size of the building which exists today. It was much smaller, comprising solely the inner main bar area, without any accommodation to begin with.
It is more than probable that the great fire of London would have been in full view above the trees to the merry bunch drinking in the Green Man at the time. The pub was not officially affected by the plague, but Hurst did have some cases, encouraging the village to spread, thus the parish of St.Nicholas Hurst is still the second largest in the country today.
The purpose of an ale house was primarily to serve journeymen swagons of foamy ale to expel the cold and enlighten their evenings. The Green Man, served tradesmen travelling from High Wycombe, with chairs and tables on their way to Portsmouth to export abroad.
Brakspears became involved in the pub for the first time in 1646 when they purchased a 1000 year lease to the building. Brakspear had not yet commenced brewing, that began in 1779, some 133 years later.