Historic East Hampshire pub sold to developers

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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.’