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The Acorn Inn began life as a coaching inn in the 16th century and was originally called the Kings Arms. It had plenty of competition in those days, as the small village of Evershot supported six pubs back then (somebody must have been drinking a lot – and the records of the local police constable some years later, lists “drunk and disorderly” as the most persistent crime in the village!). The fact that the Acorn Inn is the only pub to survive suggests it was always pretty popular. In those days the landlord brewed his own ales with water drawn from the source of the river Frome, just behind the church.

It is believed that the notorious Judge Jeffreys, whose severity earned him the title “The Hanging Judge” used what is now the lounge as a court for sentencing local convicts – they were strung up at the red signpost on the way to Benville.

Thomas Hardy's 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' is set in the immediate area. Evershot is referred to as Evershed and the Acorn was called 'The Sow and Acorn'. When Tess walked many miles to meet Angel Clare's parents she stopped half way in Evershed and breakfasted at Tess Cottage just next to the church. All of our bedroom names are derived from the book. The Acorn also features as 'The Sow & Acorn' in two of Hardy's other powerful stories: In 'Interlopers at the Knap' Philip Hall collected Sally's dress that had been left here by the carrier. And in 'The First Countess of Wessex' Squire Dornell's man Tupcombe, sat in the inglenook in the hope of hearing news of Betty.

In 2005 the Tollman family, owners of the award winning Red Carnation Hotel Collection, bought Summer Lodge Hotel Country House Hotel, Restaurant and Spa, just down the main street from The Acorn Inn. They soon fell in love with the village and couldn't resist buying The Acorn, the only pub in their collection, as well as the village shop.

In 2008 Jack and Alex took over the management of the inn before passing over the reins to Natalie and Richard in 2016. Had Thomas Hardy visited today it's likely that the experience would almost certainly have lifted the spirits of a man whose books were a bit on the melancholy side!

16 Places to Visit in Thomas Hardy's Dorset

Fun for all the family
Evershead Room
Stay in Style
Everyone's a V.I.P
The Acorn Inn

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