A POPULAR country pub that has been open for more than 400 years has closed.
The Ship Inn, a Grade-II listed pub at South Harting, near Petersfield, has been sold to a property developer.
Part of the pub includes ships’ timbers that were reputedly from Napoleonic times.
The news has been received with sadness.
Licensee Cliff Parry said: ‘It is closing while the developer decides what to do.
‘There haven’t been any applications to convert it into a house, but that is obviously one option.
‘I shall be sad to leave, but I’m taking a holiday and then when I come back looking for work.’
The pub, dating back to the 1600s, needs major work if it is to remain in operation, including a new kitchen, rewiring, and the ancient roof timbers need replacing.
The author Nevil Shute mentions the pub in his novel Landfall, and it is also named in The Research Magnificent, a novel by War of the Worlds author HG Wells.
Customer John Dodd said: ‘The sums didn’t add up, which was sad. I’ve been a regular at The Ship for 25 years, we even have a pub cricket team, so its closure is deeply distressing.’
Long-serving barmaid and Harting resident Jaqui Thexton said: ‘I will be very sad to leave.’