Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 6°C

Search

Villagers delight as ‘Painters Pub’ once used by Constable and Gainsborough reopens

PUBLISHED: 11:17 14 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:17 14 June 2018

Robert Erith outside the Lamarsh Lion pub, which has now reopened Picture: LAMARSH LION COMMUNITY PUB LTD

Robert Erith outside the Lamarsh Lion pub, which has now reopened Picture: LAMARSH LION COMMUNITY PUB LTD

Archant

A historic pub on the Essex/Suffolk border which is believed to have once been the ‘local’ of world famous artists John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough has reopened after two years of closure.

The Lamarsh Lion pub, which has been refurbished Picture: LAMARSH LION COMMUNITY PUB LTDThe Lamarsh Lion pub, which has been refurbished Picture: LAMARSH LION COMMUNITY PUB LTD

The Lamarsh Lion – a pub for more than 700 years – has opened its doors once again after villagers rallied around a community share scheme and bought the building last year.

Villagers in Lamarsh and neighbouring Alphamstone, near Sudbury, were dismayed at the pub’s closure in May 2016 and The Lamarsh Lion Community Pub Ltd was formed to save the culturally important building.

Shares were offered at £50 each with more than 400 people investing and the money raised, along with a grant and loan from The Plunkett Foundation, enabled the purchase in July 2017.

Inside the Lamarsh Lion Picture: LAMARSH LION COMMUNITY PUB LTDInside the Lamarsh Lion Picture: LAMARSH LION COMMUNITY PUB LTD

Constable and Gainsborough both painted in Lamarsh and it is thought to be highly likely that they both used the Lion, which is nicknamed the ‘Painters Pub’.

Robert Erith, chairman of the company, said: “Getting this historic pub open again is a fantastic achievement from a dedicated band of supporters and a wider group of shareholders and well-wishers.

“It will be a vital asset for the whole community and we hope it will help make Lamarsh a great place to live for the long term.

Villagers celebrate getting the keys for the Lamarsh Lion back in July 2017  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVillagers celebrate getting the keys for the Lamarsh Lion back in July 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“We have shown what can be achieved if people really believe such a project is worthwhile.”

The pub needed substantial repairs before reopening and grants were obtained from Essex Community Foundation Rural Fund, Essex County Council Community Initiatives Fund and GCG Environment Trust for improvements.

The money enabled a refitted kitchen and cellar, re-wiring, plumbing, heating, a new wooden floor, windows and other significant repairs, inside and out.

Villagers celebrate getting the keys for the Lamarsh Lion back in July 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNVillagers celebrate getting the keys for the Lamarsh Lion back in July 2017 Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The committee has appointed Michael (Mick) Fallon and his team to run the pub and it will be open seven days a week from 10.30am for coffee and midday for drinks and meals.

Ruth Alison, honorary treasurer, said: “The British pub is unique and the Lamarsh Lion has been the heart of the village for generations. I became part of the team as I felt very strongly that the loss of the pub meant loss of friends.

“My vision was to provide a community centre for all not just a beer drinking establishment and I think we have gone a long way to achieve this aim, we have more to do but are certainly on the right path.”

Niki Henderson, committee member, said: “Having been involved in refurbishing the pub, I have been thrilled at how many people from surrounding villages have also been inspired to help and support us.”

On Saturday, June 23, there will be an official lunchtime grand opening at 12.30pm with a barbecue, hog roast and live music.

Firefighters are tonight battling a fire at a thatched cottage in Suffolk.

Police were unable to act on five cases of adults having sex with teenagers in their care over the last four years due to a legal loophole, the NSPCC has revealed.

Suffolk police have stopped 68 vehicles as a part of an operation in Bury St Edmunds which aims to target criminals using Suffolk’s roads.

Two teenagers who carried out a revenge stabbing in Colchester in which a 17-year-old youth suffered life threatening injuries have been detained for a total of 13 years.

An e-fit of a man who Suffolk police would like to talk to in connection to an armed robbery in Haverhill has been released.

A young salon owner has described her heartbreak after hundreds of pounds of stock was stolen from her business in a break-in.

Suffolk is set to see sunny skies over the weekend - but a low mist could hamper commuters on their journey home.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

MyDate24 MyPhotos24