Villagers in Bath fighting to raise thousands of pounds to save historic pub

Nearly two years ago villagers in Limpley Stoke in Bath thought they had saved their 500-year-old pub from developers. But now the future of The Hop Pole in Limpley Stoke is in doubt once more.

Those involved with saving the pub say they need to raise another £300,000 by the end of January to finish the renovation work, or they will be forced to sell it and their dream of a community run pub will be lost.

The Hop Pole has been in the village of Limpley Stoke for 500 years.

Simon Coombe from Save The Hop Pole said: "If we raise the money we will have saved a 500-year-old pub for the next generation and generations to come. 

"Unfortunately if we don't raise the money we will have to stop the project.

"We will have to sell and it will have to go back to residential housing, which is what we thought we had saved it from a year and a half ago and that would be tragic."

The community in Wiltshire first came together in 2022. They raised nearly £400,000 in just a few weeks to buy the grade two listed pub to prevent it from being turned into housing.

But once the keys were handed over - the crumbling building was revealed.

The grade two listed pub is having to be completely renovated due to the poor condition of the building.

James Sibson from Save The Hop Pole Campaign said: "We discovered a beam, which was rotten out at both ends which meant the first floor could have collapsed at any moment.

"In the other side of the building, there was lots of water and damp coming in, there was a hole in the roof, one of the ceilings had collapsed, none of the electrics worked, none of the gas worked, so the building just wasn't fit for habitation or use at all.

"We are having to replace everything and it all costs money."

The project to save The Hop Pole has already brought the community together.  People have donated money, time, expertise and even materials to try and get the pub back up and running.  But faced with spiralling costs it is cash that is now needed - and quickly.

Volunteers have come together to help get the pub back open.

Lucy Poloniecka from Save The Hop Pole said: "We have got to save it. Personally I feel I have put two years of my life in this project and I am determined to not give up at the last hurdle. But we do need people to help."

Resident and Save The Hop Pole committee member Jessica Lloyd-Smith said: "So much emotion has gone in to it and so much hard-work, it would be really devastating if we had to turn away at this point.

"Without the pub the village is a collection of houses. With a pub in it, it gives it back its heart again so that is what we are really hoping to do."