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Home > Dorset > Shaftesbury > Fountain Inn

Fountain Inn

Date of photo: 2017

Copyright Maigheach-gheal and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The Fountain Inn was situated at 2 Breach Lane. This grade-II listed pub closed in 2017. It is a coaching inn dating from the c1750s, and is comprised of the inn with a small house of earlier date and a series of outbuildings attached to its east. The first edition Ordnance Survey map published in 1887 shows the inn as standing on the edge of an L-shaped plot. It is believed that the inn was mainly used by coach passengers to quench their thirst while they waited for extra horses to be added to enable them to make the steep climb up Tout Hill into Shaftesbury. C19 trade directories confirm that in 1851 the publican at the Fountain Inn was Charles Goulden, a local stone mason (Hunt's Trade Directory of 1851), in 1865 it was run by Richard Brickell, a local farmer (J. G Harrod & Co. Postal & Commercial Directory of Dorset & Wilts 1865) and in 1895 by Frederick Pickford (1895 Kelly's Directory of Dorsetshire). In the c1980s the associated outbuildings to the east were sold off and rebuilt to form a row of six houses.
Source: David Fisher

Listed building details:
A coaching inn dating from the c1750s, incorporating an earlier house to its east with an C18 front..
MATERIALS: Both the inn and attached house, the latter set further back from the road, are built in stone rubble, set on a plinth. They are painted to the front and each has a pitched tiled roof (steeper to the house) with gable end stacks in brick.
PLAN: the earlier house has an L-shaped plan, the rear wing now forming the kitchen to the pub, with a later lean-to attached to its north gable end, and the front wing remaining in domestic use. The later inn buildings form a U-shaped plan, which together with the rear wing of the earlier house enclose a former court yard that was roofed over in the c1980s.
EXTERIOR: The two storey house, set back from the road, has two three-light windows to each floor, those to the first floor with leaded panes, and those at ground floor level, including the central entrance, with segmental heads. The inn to the left also has a two storey two bay front with a central entrance with a timber panelled door and two large timber sashes with cross bar to each floor. During a listing inspection in the 1970s a Medieval carved stone head was seen, incorporated in the stonework to the front, now possibly covered by the pub's sign on the front elevation.
The rear of the house has segmental headed windows to the ground floor and timber three light casements at first floor level. A small flat-roofed porch, added in the late C20, is built into the corner of both wings. Attached to the rear of the pub is a corrugated iron terrace cover resting on scaffolding poles, obscuring part of the elevation. The stone rubble gable ends to either side, with later lean-tos, are blind.
INTERIOR: The ground floor of the pub has been opened up entirely with the former open courtyard to its centre now roofed over (since the c1980s). The front part of the pub retains part of its flagstone flooring and a projecting stone rubble fire place with timber bressumer. The pub's kitchen (part of the earlier house) contains an C18 classically shaped ceiling beam. Other ceiling timbers have been removed and replaced with only fragments surviving.
The first floor of the pub, the attached house and the adjacent outbuildings, including all roof spaces, could not be inspected.

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