We may be stuck under lockdown for the foreseeable future, but over time things will get better and we will once again be able to explore this bountiful region, including country pubs like the Packhorse; its history is perhaps undoubtedly at heart of what makes it so special, with recent renovations unveiling a rich and varied past for this popular English pub.
For many years it has been thought that the building originated from approx. 1674, as per the date above the door, however a few architectural features suggest it may be older than first thought. For years speculative tales have circulated in the South Stoke village, stories of secret priest holes and passageways leading to the Priory.
In the late Elizabethan period, 1560 onwards, there was a surge of new ale houses across Britain. Some Church Houses were converted with others built from scratch. Local parish records suggest that the Packhorse may once have acted as a poor house around this period, with the earliest record of its pub status stemming back to 1847 and it remained such until 2012.
In 2018, after a brief hiatus the Packhorse opened its doors once more, poignantly 400 years to the day of its inauguration as an ale house. Regardless of its mysterious other history, the Packhorse remains at the heart of village life and is open for locals and visitors alike to converse over a friendly pint.