Monkey House

Worcestershire - Defford

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II


Defford
WR8 9BW

Tel: (01386) 750234

Real Cider: Yes

View on: Whatpub

One of our most unspoilt pubs, the unique Cider House occupies part of a 17th-century thatched, half-timbered building. It has been in the family of landlady Gill Collins for 150 years and is one of four remaining cider-only houses in the country. The main bar is actually outside viz. the front garden! If the weather disappoints, customers drink in the former bakehouse at the side. Service is through a hatch in a stable door on the left of the cottage with the cider casks stillaged behind in a ground floor 'cellar'. The loos are outside and the ladies' even has a roof!. The nickname supposedly derives from the tale told by a well-mellowed customer on returning home - he claimed he was covered in cuts and scratches not because of a self-induced collapse into a bramble patch but rather an attack by a tribe of monkeys.

Unique - that's the Cider House, one of the country's most unspoilt pubs and part of a C17 thatched, half-timbered listed building. It has been in landlady Gill Collins family for 150 years. The main bar is actually outside - its the front garden! There is seating outside including tables and chairs on the path leading to the hatch; under the eaves of the cottage; and all over the sizeable garden. And if the weather isn't too good you can enjoy a drink in the former bakehouse at the side which has a latch door, screeded floor, pew and other seats, a wood burning stove in a brick fireplace with the bread oven alongside.

The drink is cider for this is one of only four remaining cider-only houses in the country (no beer is served). Service is not over one of those new-fangled bar counters but through a hatch in a stable door on the left of the cottage. The casks of cider are stillaged behind in a ground-floor 'cellar'. many locals drink out of their own pottery mugs. It has possibly the most unspoilt outside gents' toilets in the country - four concrete block walls and no roof so tall gents can see into the fields and have a 360 degrees view of the surrounding countryside. The outside ladies' does have a roof! This wonderful establishment also goes by the nickname 'The Monkey'. Many years ago a well-mellowed customer returned home covered in cuts and scratches which he attributed to being set upon by a tribe of monkeys (rather than a self-induced collapse into a bramble patch).

The regular cider is a 6% dry blend made especially for the Cider House by Westons of Much Marcle at a remarkably good price of £2.40 (2011), also Medium at 5% and a 4.1% Perry (from a polypin). There is no beer or lager, they have wine, but the perry is better value, and soft drinks. "This is a true Cider House" says landlady Gill Collins.

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