Historic Cotswolds pub saved from closure by beer-loving villagers

A tiny Cotswold village, featured in TV shows for decades, won't lose its local after residents snapped it up to secure its future for generations to come.

By Emma Luther  |  Published
Village resident Stephen Gabb celebrates the refurbishment of The Bakers Arms at Broad Campden.

The village of Broad Campden near Chipping Camden, may be small but it's proving mighty in its determination to keep its beloved village pub.

Richard and Gail Smith are two of only 100 residents of the tiny Cotswold village but they are determined to make sure The Bakers Arms doesn't become another rural pub closure following the retirement of its former landlords and owners.

The couple plan to reopen the Grade II listed pub for the enjoyment of the village, which was named as one of the most beautiful villages in the UK by Travel Away in 2022.   

The Bakers Arms will be leased to and managed in a joint venture arrangement between the couple, Cotswold caterers, The Relish Group, and residents Stephen and Charlotte Gabb.

Richard said: 'I know the pub is important to the village but as neighbours we are also looking forward to opening the doors to all Cotswolds residents, walkers and visitors alike.

'We have already been contacted by the Cotswold Morris Dancers, who practice and perform at The Bakers Arms and can’t wait to welcome them back.'

Director of Relish, Rob Goves, said: 'The offering will only be 'half baked’ at the outset. Whilst a full bar offering is targeted for late June, the only eats will be bar snacks and cold items whilst the kitchen, restaurant area and other aspects within the grounds are completed.

'We want this to be a good country pub with a food offering to match expectation. It would be wrong to delay the opening of the bar whilst the kitchen and restaurant area is refurbished and the food offering created, tested and established.

'We have undertaken this process in many venues and would ask the residents in Broad Campden and surrounding area to allow us a little latitude whilst we get the food side just right for this amazing village pub.'

The Bakers Arms is currently in mid refurbishment, with the car park being reordered to include surrounding Cotswold stone walls and additional parking spaces. A number of temporary sheds have been removed and the outside dining area relocated from the rear of the car park to outside the pub itself.

The entire frontage has already been repointed and the windows sympathetically repaired and painted in the existing white finish.

Even though The Bakers Arms is a free house with a selection of real ales, the original Flowers Brewery signage is being refurbished and mounted on a new oak ‘yard arm’. The solid oak door frontage on to the road will also be refurbished and reglazed.

The 19th-century inn has been used in many TV shows, most recently ITV’s Father Brown

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