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The oldest pub in Hamble - a short history

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 July 2015

Copyright Peter Dawes Photography 2011

The Bugle has been in the heart of village life for many centuries.

The Bugle in the 1930s - Ian UnderdownThe Bugle in the 1930s - Ian Underdown

The Bugle has been in the heart of village life for many centuries and the first record of the Bugle property by name was at a Winchester College Court in 1656. An archaeological survey also suggests the original building dates from around c.1600. Winchester College was Hamble’s Lord of the Manor and owned all the properties in Hamble, including the Bugle.

At the beginning of the 1800s the pub was called ‘The Bull’ and later ‘The Ferry House’. On the right side of the main building was a single storey bar extension with ‘The Ferry House’ on the outside wall.

Auctions and inquests were held at the Bugle, such as when a decomposed body from a boat accident was brought to the pub. It also featured in some court cases, for example when the landlord was convicted for permitting drunkenness, involving five invalid soldiers from Netley Hospital.

The Bugle took in lodgers such as oyster merchants, mariners and yachtsmen. A fascinating Bugle Inn visitor’s book from 1895 to 1906 still survives which contains drawings, humorous verse and entries from the yachting fraternity.

In 1906 the pub’s freehold was bought from Winchester College and subsequently W Cooper & Co Ltd.

The Bugle in the 1900s - Ian UnderdownThe Bugle in the 1900s - Ian Underdown

When Hamble River Sailing Club was formed in 1919 it used the Bugle grounds facing the river to start its races. A new building was constructed and leased to the club for its new clubhouse in 1928.

In the mid 1930s significant work was undertaken with the Ferry House bar replaced by a two storey extension to make it as it is today. The 1960s saw major expansion with new riverside bars and restaurants overlooking the river to serve the growth of yachting and visitors to the village. It became an internationally renowned pub, particularly with yachtsmen.

The Bugle was bought by a property developer in 2003, which wanted to close the pub to build high class housing on the attractive waterside site. Fortunately, the original pub building was bought by Ideal Leisure, who operates a small collection of pubs & restaurants in Hampshire. It reopened in 2005 and it is the only freehouse pub in Hamble.

It’s now a gastro pub which boasts an AA Rosette for the quality of its food. The interior still maintains its historical charm. Exposed wooden beams, real fire and antique furniture makes this a great spot for lunch, dinner or for drinks. Click on the link to learn more about this Pub & Restaurant in Hamble.

Hamble Pubs by Ian UnderdownHamble Pubs by Ian Underdown

A booklet entitled ‘Hamble Pubs’ has been produced by Ian Underdown, Chairman of Hamble Local History Society, giving the history of the village’s pubs including the Bugle. It is available from Hamble Post Office at Coronation Parade, Blue Bijou in the Square or the four main Hamble pubs at the cost of only £3.

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