Bruce Arms

Wiltshire - Easton Royal

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: Not listed

Easton Road
Easton Royal
SN9 5LR

Tel: (01672) 810216

Email: thebrucearms@btconnect.com

Website http://www.thebrucearms.net

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This superbly traditional roadside pub lies nearly a mile west of the village. Built around 1850, it was in the same family hands from 1918 to 1993, when licensee Rose Raisey died at the age of 87 – her picture is in the public bar. At the entrance is a small snug with a counter and red and black quarry-tiled floor. To its right, the simply-appointed public bar has a red brick floor and scrubbed Victorian tables and benches. The counter is thought to be from a refit in the 1930s, a date which would accord well with the brick fireplace. The basic shelving in the servery is probably later. Rose’s kitchen has been brought into public use and, further on, a 1996 extension serves as a games room. The lounge, to the left of the entrance, has a small hatch to the servery and is furnished with domestic sofas and chairs, along with a piano bought for Rose when she was 13. The pub is nicknamed ‘the Gammon’, supposedly because it stood opposite a pub of that name which burned down about 1830. Large campsite at rear. Open from 5pm Mon to Fri.

A traditional rural pub that has little changed with time. Built between 1848 and 1855 by the Salmonach Estate (which owned seven pubs), it was sold to Strong's of Romsey in the 1940s. The name comes from the fact that Thomas, brother of Robert the Bruce, married into the estate owner, Lord Ailesbury's family (part of the Cardigan family of Charge of the Light Brigade fame) and their family crest are the coat of arms on the pub sign. It did brew its own beer and on the mantelpiece is a piece of wood from a cask impressed with the words 'Bruce Arms'. The pub's nickname is 'The Gammon' - there was a pub on the other side of the road called the Gammon of Bacon which burnt to the ground in c.1830 and the Bruce Arms was built as a replacement - note the cartoon on the wall of the public bar about the pub burning down. It was run by the same family between 1919 and 1993 - long-serving landlady, Rose Raisey, lived here 74 years until hee death in 1993 aged 87.

On entry is a tiny snug with an old counter and a red and black quarry-tiled floor. There is simple old shelving in the servery near the hatch to the lounge and on the public bar side. There are a couple of bar stools and it is still used by locals. The public bar (right)has a wonderful, timeless feel with a red-brick floor, some splendidly robust and functional carpentry in the form of two long scrubbed tables and low, basic benches. The counter is believed to have been part of a refit in the 1930s, a date which would accord well with the brick fireplace. The ultra-basic shelving in the servery may be a little later. Further right is a room which was formerly Rose's kitchen and had a Rayburn. With settees and armchairs it looks like someone's front room. Beyond this, is a modern extension dating from 1996 which acts as a games and function room but it does not impact on the historic core.

Left of the entrance lobby is the lounge. A plain room said to have long been in pub use, it has a hatch to the servery (no longer in use), a fireplace possibly installed in c.1952 and just two large tables. The piano in the lounge was bought for Rose when she was 13 years old and is still played occasionally. The toilets on the left were added in 1952. Across the road is a cricket pitch owned by the pub but is has not been used since 2005 when the cricket team captain fell out with the pub owners!

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