The Fleece Inn
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2014)|
|The Fleece Inn|
The Fleece Inn, Bretforton
|Location||Village of Bretforton|
|Material||Timber Framed Building|
|Visitation||Owned by the National Trust|
|Map Ref: SP0943|
The Fleece Inn is a public house in Bretforton, in the Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire, England: the half-timbered building, over six hundred years old, has been a pub since 1848, and is now owned by the National Trust. The inn was extensively damaged by fire on 27 February 2004, and repairs and rebuilding commenced on 1 November 2004. The Fleece officially reopened—with a new roof and improved facilities—on 18 June 2005.[not in citation given] The pub holds an annual asparagus festival & famous asparagus auctions, and there are 3 morris sides based at the pub (Pebworth, Belle d'Vain & Asum Gras). There is a regular folk night plus concerts and weddings in the medieval barn.
Owned by the National Trust, The Fleece Inn was originally built in the early 15th century as a longhouse (an early type of farmhouse accommodating both livestock and humans) by a prosperous yeoman farmer called Byrd; it later became a pub, and was rebuilt in the 17th century. It remained in the Byrd family until 1977, when Lola Taplin bequeathed it to the National Trust. Lola was a direct descendant of Mr Byrd, and lived her entire life at the Fleece. She died at 83, having run the pub on her own for the last 30 years of her life. The Inn suffered serious fire damage in February 2004, and was completely restored.
A curious mediaeval tradition also survives at the Fleece, preserved in accordance with Lola's wishes. This is the practice of chalking "witch circles" on the floor in front of each hearth to prevent witches from getting in through the chimneys. There are also "witch marks" on the inside of the door, to keep evil spirits out.
The BBC used The Fleece Inn and the surrounding village green for its 1993 £5 million production of Charles Dickens' novel Martin Chuzzlewit; the pub was renamed the "Green Dragon" for the duration of shooting.
Reputedly Oliver Cromwell’s pewter dinner service was exchanged on the way to the battle of Worcester and this is on display at the pub. Even if this account is not true, it is an example of 17th century Jacobean English Pewter ware.
- National Trust: The Fleece Inn Retrieved 9 February 2010