Yarcombe Inn Reopens

Press Release

A 1,000-year-old pub in an East Devon village is coming back to life after a local couple stepped in to buy it. The Yarcombe Inn in Yarcombe closed almost five years ago and despite valiant efforts by villagers to take it on and run it as a community venture, its doors have remained closed.

Originally a 9th century monastery, the thatched former coaching inn on the A30 between Honiton and Chard was, in common with the rest of Yarcombe, later owned by Sir Frances Drake. The inn’s history was partly what drew Simon and Celine Peniston-Bird to visit with a view to buying it. “We had never seen the pub open and passing it daily we felt it was sad to see it permanently closed,” said Simon, who moved with Celine and their family to Yarcombe two years ago.

As local private landlords Simon and Celine have a small local portfolio of mainly residential properties but had always said they would never own a pub, a listed building or anything thatched! “It would appear we tore up that memo when a local friend said, in passing, that yet another purchaser had fallen through,” added Simon.

Celine said: “On our first visit our overwhelming feeling was that it was a truly lovely building, steeped in history with a great warm atmosphere in the bar. We knew that some work was needed and areas like the kitchen needed updating but we left that meeting feeling very positive!”

After a race against time, the sale of the pub was completed in just six weeks. The pub will be run by tenants Luke and Anie Davis-Keogh who have moved from Loughborough where Luke was a pub manager. They hope to have the Yarcombe Inn up and running for the Terrier Racing at the beginning of August. “We are planning a soft opening this summer, building up our range as custom grows,” said Luke. “I have a real passion for local ales and Anie is looking at expanding into coffee mornings and possibly mother and toddler groups. We can’t wait to get the Yarcombe Inn back on the map!”