New Inn

The New Inn was built in the early 17th century and was originally two storeys with attics. It had two heated rooms, probably divided by a through passage, and a stair case beside the East chimneystack. The blocked West window and entrance doorway each retain a rubble relieving arch; that to the east window has been destroyed. In the 18th century the house was re-roofed and a dormer window with a hipped gable inserted on the North side. The porch and the present entrance doorway and the internal partitions are modern additions. A contemporary barn on the east side, now the main bar, has a thatched roof

 Originally part of a working farm, the building has been a public house for over 200 years. In 1994 the restaurant was created from the kitchen and sitting room of the original farm house adding new access from the bar itself, formally the barn. In 1966 a fire started in the thatch of the barn roof, which entirely destroyed the bar, and the New Inn was closed for five months. The new Inn is featured in most ‘good food’ guides and is a family run business.

 The present landlord, Maurice Estop and his wife Rose, took over the New Inn from Ivan Williams. He in turn took over from Colonel Wilson, who retired to Cocknowle and died in 1966. Prior to Colonel Wilson the pub was run part time by Bob Savage and his wife, who also ran Church Knowle Farm.

At the turn of the century the pub was run by a Miss Smith. Much drinking took place and things got quite out of hand. The village policemen had to go down to the pub every night to turn out the offenders. When the customers and the landlady were drunk, the liquor was still consumed but not paid for. However, the one thing Miss Smith always did when things got out of hand was lock up the spirits. The police got so fed up with the situation that they asked the magistrates not renew her licence to sell alcoholic liquor. The last resident policeman in Church Knowle was Mr Snook, known as ‘Snooky’. He lived in the ‘Old Cottage’ opposite the Reading Room. Things were probably worse In Kimmeridge, the pub was closed down and never re-opened.

The New Inn http://www.newinn-churchknowle.co.uk/

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The New Inn today  (left above) and on the right above, the opening of the new bar in 1958, with Colonel Wilson in the centre wearing a white jacket (Jill Bugler is on the horse far left). 

Pictures below show the devastating fire of 1996:

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