For more than 500 years this old inn remained in the same family, all descendants of an early 15th-century farmer called Byrd, who built himself this former longhouse. His last direct descendant was the Fleece’s long-serving landlady, Lola Taplin, who on her death in 1977 bequeathed it to the National Trust, making it the first pub among a fair few it now owns or lets. Not licensed until 1848, this beautiful timbered building remains largely unchanged, thanks in particular to skilful restoration following a devastating fire in 2004. Two special things to look out for are a Jacobean pewter dinner service, reputedly Oliver Cromwell’s, and big chalk-drawn ‘witch circles’ on the floor in front of each hearth, supposedly to prevent witches entering through the chimneys, a practice that Lola insisted should continue after her death. Ales change frequently and cider drinkers have a choice of home-brewed Ark or locally-produced ciders. Families will enjoy sunshine in the apple orchard, while children let off steam in the play area. Folk music, Morris dancing, an annual asparagus festival and a beer and cider festival in the second half of October are events to catch.
Open all year
Open all week
Open all day
Lunch: Monday to Saturday 12–2.30, Sunday all day
Dinner: Monday to Saturday 6.30–9, Sunday all day
Credit cards accepted
Coach parties welcome, notice required
Play area available
Allowed in bar
Allowed in restaurant
Allowed in garden
From Evesham follow signs for B4035 towards Chipping Campden. Through Badsey into Bretforton. Right at village hall, past church, pub in open parking area.