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Framlingham: Closure of the White Horse prompts fears for future of historic listed building

PUBLISHED: 17:01 30 July 2014

The  White Horse pictured before its closure

The White Horse pictured before its closure

The closure of a historic pub in east Suffolk has prompted concerns the Grade II-listed building may be vandalised or left to fall in disrepair.

The White Horse in Well Close Square, Framlingham, which dates back to the 16th Century, has been left vacant while new tenants are sought.

Christopher Hudson, who is one of Framlingham’s district councillors, has expressed concerns at the potential loss of “another heritage asset”.

“Six people have raised their fears with me that the building will be vandalised and I think it’s sad to see a heritage asset not in use – it’s a retrograde step,” he said.

“I think this is an example of change in the town which is very much for the worse and I hope we can find a new tenant or a community use for it as soon as possible.”

The pub, which boasts ample car parking, a large outdoor space and capacity to host live music events, was said to be a popular attraction in the town several years ago.

Though its appeal has waned somewhat since, there are those who believe its former glory can return.

Carol Pennington, who owns the Old Mews Gallery in Market Hill and used to run the King’s Head in Woodbridge, said the pub had “great potential” and it would be a “crying shame” for it to be boarded up.

“It used to be a very successful pub, it’s nicely placed, there’s a private garden, a large car park and it could be very popular,” she added.

The Suffolk Campaign for Real Ale, quoting Alfred Hedges’ Inns and Inn Signs of Norfolk and Suffolk, said the pub building dates back to 1510.

John Bridges, president of the Framlingham and District Local History Preservation Society, added that it had been used as an inn from at least 1750, and had been bought for £900 by James Brunning in 1832 –along with 26 horses.

Mr Bridges said it would be a “great shame” if the pub was left in disrepair and hoped a new tenant would take it on. Andrew Lovejoy, a historian in the town said it was an “important part of its heritage”.

Tom Nichols, of the letting agents Everard Cole, said the closure was temporary and he was “determined to find a long-term solution”.

The pub’s owner, Wellington Pub Company, did not respond to a request for comment.

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