ACTION TO SAVE THE KINGSBRIDGE INN
The Kingsbridge Inn has been closed for quite a while and there are fears it may be lost
forever in the event of a planning application to turn it into a residential property.
After being approached by a community group concerned for its future, the Totnes Heritage
Trust has recently submitted an application to South Hams District Council to list The
Kingsbridge Inn as an Asset of Community Value. The application was supported by a
petition signed by over 300 people.
Full of character and history, and standing at the top of Totnes, the Kingsbridge Inn was first
recorded around 1684 and has faithfully served the local community for over 330 years.
The trust believes the inn has a special value to the local heritage and culture which should
be protected. It forms an important part of the community’s historic and cultural identity at a time when traditional pubs of architectural value are becoming rare.
In the event of a successful application the inn will be listed as an Asset of Community Value
with the local authority. This will result in the local community being informed when it comes up for sale within a five year listing period. The community will be given an opportunity to enact the Community Right to Bid, which provides for a moratorium period of six months to allow it to raise the finance to purchase the inn.
The pub sits at the top of the town at the foot of Kingsbridge Hill and close to the nearby
ancient Leechwells, the Lamb and Leechwell Gardens. The pub is on the Totnes Trail and
would complement nearby pubs such as the Bull Inn, which is more food and
accommodation focussed, and the Bay Horse, well known for its folk and jazz evenings,
community events, and having a wonderful garden.
It was previously owned by Enterprise Inns and had a tenant landlord. The pub was closed
in December 2016. In 2017 the Kingsbridge Inn was sold to a pensions fund based in Bristol,
and has been closed ever since, despite attempts to re-open it. Several interested parties
have sought to acquire the pub but have been frustrated by abortive sales, or the withdrawal
of the property from the market.
There is a real danger the Kingsbridge Inn could be lost forever. With community support
and backing it can be saved.