There has been a pub at this location since around 1668. On 22 August 1722, Christopher Layer and Stephen Lynch were arrested in the pub over a plot to assassinate King George I. A robbery by Dick Turpin reportedly took place outside the premises on 30 April 1737, when Turpin attacked Joseph Major and took his horse and around £7 to £8 in silver.
The pub is named by Daniel Defoe in his account "Tour through the Eastern Counties of England", published as part of A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain in 1724: "the great road passed up to Leytonstone, a place by some known now as much by the sign of the Green Man, formerly a lodge upon the edge of the forest".
By the end of the 18th century, it had become the most important inn in the local area, as it sat on the main coaching road from London to Cambridge and Newmarket. In the early 20th century, the pub included a room known as the "Dick Turpin chamber" and was reputed to be haunted.
The current premises dates from the late 1920s. The pub has been rebranded and is now trading as part of the O'Neill's chain.