The earliest references to the New Inn is in 1714 when it became a licensed premises on the conversion of two cottages and a barn. It was an coaching inn for travellers from the west on their way to Oxford via Burford.
In 1860 the New Inn was given as a present by Mrs Florence Bloss (mother of John Alfred Bloss), in recognition of the love of a mother for her son.
The ‘Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard’ reported on Saturday 13th May 1899 about an ‘Earthstopper’s Feast’ held at the New Inn:
“The annual dinner given by the Heythrop Hunt to the gamekeepers and earthstoppers of this district was held at the New Inn on Tuesday last. Mr Wilson, the popular huntsman, presided and there were 51 persons present. An excellent spread was provided by Mrs Bloss. After dinner, the usual toasts were given, including the health of the master, Mr A Brassey, MP, and that of the chairman, both of which were enthusiastically drunk.”
In November 1957 Princess Margaret was a surprise visitor at the New Inn, joining the Heythrop Hunt meeting . The Gloucestershire Echo reported: “After the hounds had moved off, followed by nearly 160 on horseback, Princess Margaret, wearing a green tweed skirt, three quarter coat and headscarf, went sightseeing round the village, accompanied by the Marchioness of Blandford. She spent about 20 minutes in Bourton and was shown the mill and historic church.”
Behind the pub is the famous Bourton model village built by Bo Morris in the 1930’s. Work started on the 1:9 scale model village in 1936 and was not finished until 1940. The model village was the first tourist attraction to be built in Bourton on the Water. It is an exact replica of the village with 78 buildings – the model of the pub has a model village in its garden and a model village inside that! There are more than 90 bonsai trees in the miniature village.
The Old New Inn held a competition to grow the largest pumpkin in October 1999. The winner was a real whopper, smashing previous records at a staggering 199lb – the same weight as 100 bags of sugar. It took two men to drag the monster vegetable into the pub.
There is a seat by the hallway fire in the Old New Inn dedicated to one time regular Stan Shaw, who died in November 2000 aged 80. Stan, a Yorkshireman, sat there with his glass of his favourite tipple Guinness twice a day, seven days a week for four and a half years. Mr Shaw served in the RAF during the Second World War, and later worked as a radio operator at GCHQ, Cheltenham.
On April 23rd each year the Old New Inn organises a men-only St Georges Day ceremony in which patriotic songs are sung, including Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem. A dinner of Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding, bread and dripping, mushroom soup and English cheeses is also served. Women are invited only if St Georges Day falls on a Sunday.
In August 2008 Liam Gallager of Oasis, sporting a dark suit sprinkled with white dust and a matador’s hat, was filmed in the model village making a video for the track ‘I’m Out Of Time’ from the album ‘Dig Out Your Soul’.
The interior of the Old New Inn is unspoilt with three bars and original flagstone floors.
Map Reference: SP 169205
Owner in 1891: Charlotte Bloss
Rateable value in 1891: £32.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: John Alfred Bloss
Rateable value in 1903: £38.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the New Inn / Old New Inn include:
1856 T. Lucas
1885,1902 Mrs Charlotte Bloss
1903,1906 George Lane Sear
1919 George Williams
1927 Mrs Caroline Bailey
1930 Bo Morris (died in 1972)
1972-1999 Peter and Maureen Morris (retired May 1999)
1999.2010 Julian and Vicki Atherton