The Fleece Inn

Westwards across the Oxfordshire county border, into Gloucestershire, past signposts for mysterious sounding places such as Stow-on-the-Wold, Bourton-on-the-water, Honeybourne and Luckley Condicott and then just into the county of Worcestershire lies the Cotswold village of Bretforton and The Fleece Inn.

The Fleece Inn dates from the times of Chaucer (14th Century) when it was built as a longhouse for a weathy farmer called Byrd. It remained a family home in the same family right up until the 17th Century when it was turned into an Inn.

The Fleece was bequeathed to The National Trust in 1977 when the owner (Miss Lola Taplin; a direct descendent of Farmer Byrd) died. Since then The National Trust have spent time and care preserving and restoring the bulding and continue to run it as an Inn.

Two doors away from The Fleece is the home of The Naked Soap Company where I teach natural toiletry making courses and we always take the students into The Fleece for lunch. Our table is reserved right next to the fireplace.

Do you see the painted white circles on the floor in front of the fire? Those are to prevent witches from descending the chimney. Nowadays everyone is welcomed through the door and the atmosphere is friendly and happy, echoes of the centuries of merriment, music and good local beer. The staff say there are spirits, but nothing sinister or scary... just the creak of old timber and the closing of doors in empty rooms.

Today we took a pleasant drive over to Bretforton to have lunch and to deliver a pair of scales to Emma who runs Naked Soap. This was the first time BillySteve had been to The Fleece. Although it wasnt very warm the sun was bright and we ate our lunch outside where the old walls created a little sun trap. This is my pudding plate; Fruit steamed pudding that was as light as a feather with vanilla ice cream.

After lunch we explored the village a little. The Church with an ancient Yew sheltering the entrance to a private plot. The little headstones unreadable.

The thatched roofs with a cheeky straw fox sneaking up on the mother duck with her young.

It was a lovely visit but now its time to go home. We took the top down on the car and tried to take pictures of some of the pretty villages we pass through, but it didnt quite work. The sun is shining but its still very early spring and there isnt really enough warmth in it. The wind is cold driving in an open car but I tied a scarf around my head, turned the cd (Duffy) up really loud and thought 'how wonderful it is to be alive'.

Life is much more straight forward for a dog. "Are we there yet?" Billy Fergus says.


  1. Delightful! Thanks for the tour.

  2. A lovely pub and a lovely area, I do like it down your neck of the woods. Ilona


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