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.
Bo Morris and his wife Win took on the Old New Inn in 1930. They created the 1:9 scale model of Bourton, starting the work in 1936 and finishing it four years later in 1940. When Bo Morris passed away in 1972 his son, Peter, took up the licence.
In May 1999 Peter and Maureen Morris called last orders at the Old New Inn for the final time, and passed the business on to Julian and Vicky Atherton.
In October 2011 it was decided to close the Old New Inn for the winter period, thereby making 20 staff redundant. The reason stated was that running the business in the off-peak season was not financially viable.
Andrew and Julie Lund-Yate acquired the Old New Inn in 2018. The pub had been closed for a few years. After refurbishing the hotel rooms and breakfast rooms it reopened in 2019, only to be forced to close a few months later because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Tap Room Bar & Restaurant was finally opened in February 2022.
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. A crowd followed her on her short tour.”
Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard, Saturday 13th May 1899 – Earthstoppers Feast: 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.
Gloucestershire Echo, 3rd February 1999 – Whole village is up for sale: For sale: one 62-year-old village, with 78 buildings and two careful owners. Peter and Maureen Morris, who own both the Old New Inn in Bourton-on-the-Water High Street and the village itself, are to sell up and retire. But residents can rest easy – the village is a model replica built in the 1930’s.
Mr Morris, 61, said: “You can’t go on forever. We’ve done it for a long long time. My wife and I have been running it for years. You have to enjoy it, or we wouldn’t have stuck it. But sooner or later you have to give the whole place up and do something else, relax a bit.”
Work started on the 78-building model of Bourton in 1936 and lasted for four years. It was dreamed up, literally, by Mr Morris’ father Bo, who took on the New Inn un 1930. He fell asleep while gardening, and decided the garden as it was would never come up to expectations. So he and his wife Win set out to created a 1:9 scale model of Bourton – with the mill at one end and its water wheel and pub at the other.
The model even has more than 90 bonsai trees, many dating back to when the village was built and all the same varieties and in the same locations as the real trees in Bourton. The mini village together with the 16-bedroom hotel is on the market for around £300,000 for a 13-year lease. Mr Morris said: “It will be a hell of a wrench moving out after being born in the hotel and spending all my life here.”
He and his 59-year-old wife say neither of their two children, a son and a daughter, are able to take the business on so they have reluctantly decided to sell. But they will not be going far – they have a house behind the hotel. Born at the inn, Mr Morris took over as landlord of the Old New Inn when his father died in 1972.
The model stretches from the Old New Inn, in Station Road, at one end, to the Old Mill in Sherborne Street. In the model the Old New Inn has a copy of the model village in its garden. In turn, the copy of the model village boasts a third model village.
Paul Garwood, chairman of Bourton’s Chamber of Commerce, said he hoped that whoever buys the Old New Inn will maintain the model village in the same way as the Morrises.
Bourton-on-the-Water: Duncan Dine will give a slideshow about Australian birds during North Cotswold Ornithological Society’s Annual Meeting. The event will be held at The Old New Inn, High Street, Bourton-on-the-Water on Wednesday 5th April 1999 at 7.30 pm.
Gloucestershire Echo, 15th October 1999 – Pumpkin steals show: When it comes to pumpkins, Mike Henderson knows his onions. The regular at Bourton-on-the-Water’s Old New Inn has smashed local records with his vegetable weighing a staggering 199lbs. It was the top of the crops helping the pub’s pumpkin contest scale new heights on its 30th anniversary and eclipsed 11 other entrants.
It took two men to drag the huge vegetable, which weighs almost the same as 100 bags of sugar, into the pub on a blanket. It smashed the previous competition best of 151lbs, recorded in 1992. Pub landlord Julian Atherton said: “It made a dramatic entrance just two minutes before the weigh in. It will be hollowed out and turned into a Halloween lantern and the flesh turned into wine.”
Julian and Vicki Atherton
Gloucestershire Echo, 11th October 2000 – Stan’s seat is a memorial: A pub seat will be a memorial to its long-standing occupant. The seat, by the hallway fire in the Old New Inn, Bourton -on-the-Water, belonged to Stan Shaw, who died aged 80. The Yorkshireman sat there twice a day, seven days a week for four-and-a-half years. Now his framed photograph is by the comfortable chair and a fresh flower will be kept in special wall vase next to it.
Proprietors Julian and Vicky Atherton say it will always be Stan’s seat. When they took over the pub they found they’d inherited the Guinness lover. “He’d come in about 11am to 2pm and come back from 6pm to around 7.30pm”, said Mr Atherton.
Friend Dave Morris said: “I never saw him anywhere else apart from this pub. Everyone knew him. He kept guard and vetted strangers.” Yorkshire born Mr Shaw served in the RAF during the Second World War. He went on to work at GCHQ, Cheltenham, as a radio operator.
Gloucestershire Echo, Thursday 19th April 2001 – Foot & Mouth Crisis – Queen is invited for visit: A pub landlady has invited Britain’s leaders to stay for a night in a bid to boost trade. Vicki Atherton, who runs the Old New Inn, Bourton-on-the-Water, wrote to the Queen, extending her hospitality to members of the Royal Family in Gloucestershire and also to Prime Minister Tony Blair. Buckingham Palace has replied but so far, Mr Blair has not.
Mrs Atherton said in her letter: “We are devastated by the effects of the Foot & Mouth crisis. There is no reason why visitors cannot continue to visit. We have adequate coach and car parks and tourists would not need to enter any agricultural land.”
Buckingham Palace chief correspondence officer Deborah Bean said: “Her Majesty appreciates your reasons for writing to ask if a member of the Royal Family might visit the area. It must indeed be a very difficult time for those who rely on tourism and holiday trade to earn their living. Your comments have been carefully considered and the Queen appreciated that you took the time and trouble to let her know of your views.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 16th January 2001 – Pub hit by fire: Stow-on-the Wold firefighters were called to deal with a chimney blaze at the Old New Inn in High Street, Bouton-on-the-Water, at 3pm yesterday. thy brought the flames under control in 15 minutes.
Gloucestershire Echo, 24th April 2007 – Pub flies flag for St George: A patriotic pub is flying the flag to celebrate St Georges Day. The owners of the Old New Inn, in Bourton-on-the-Water, say the tradition is dying out and are urging others to follow their example.
Drinkers and diners raised the flag to the strains of Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory at 1pm. The pub’s dining room was decked out in red and white. A men-only lunch of egg mayonnaise and seafood starter, roast beef with all the trimmings and English cheese and biscuits were tucked into. All the men wore a red rose sold by the pub on behalf of Marie Curie Cancer Care. The Athertons have carried on a tradition started by former landlord Peter Morris.
Mr Morris, who is chairman of Bourton Parish Council, was born at the pub and launched the special day 30 years ago. His wife Maureen said: “He was the first landlord to introduce St George’s Day and it’s wonderful the Athertons carry it on.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 9th August 2008 – Tiny village is my little oasis: Liam: Oasis frontman Liam Gallagher swaggered into the Cotswolds to shoot a surreal video for the band’s new album. Liam was shooting for the track “I’m Outta Time” for the new Dig Out Your Soul album. A 20-strong freelance film crew, working for one of London’s leading music video production companies, Factory Films, descended on Bourton-on-the-Water.
Oasis fan George Atherton, 18, son of Old New Inn landlords Julian and Vikki who own the model village behind the pub, said: “They had big 650 watt and lots of dry ice for a smoky effect. They set up four different shots. Liam walked down the main street, leaned his back against St. Lawrence Church, lay down behind Victoria Hall and walked over the bridge in front.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 13th October 2011 – 20 staff lose their jobs as pub closes for six months: One of the Cotswolds’ best known pubs has called time for the winter. In an unheralded move, the landmark Old New Inn, at Bourton-on-the-Water, has closed until 1st April. Landlords Julian and Vicki Atherton say the lack of custom simply does not justify the cost of keeping the listed building open.
The couple say their decision is due to a decline in winter trade, the financial crisis continuing to bite and changes in drinking habits. “It was difficult, but it’s a straightforward business decision based on 12 years’ seasonality figures and the reduction in trade,” said Julian, who had to make 20 staff redundant. “Summer is the big thing for Bourton. July and August are our busiest months.
Bourton resident, Sean Maffett, said: “The pub is famous and it’s an institution. If it’s impossible to keep it open there’s something very badly wrong somewhere.”
A Punch Taverns spokesman said, “We are talking to the current licensee about the current options for the pub.” The Athertons have converted their 22-space private car park to pay and display. They are also continuing to run The Model Village behind the pub, which they own.
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
Extracted from the Old New Inn website.
Hello… We are Andrew and Julie Lund-Yates, the owners of The Old New Inn and The Model Village here in Bourton on the Water.
We took over this outstanding Cotswold business back in 2018, with the aim to rejuvenate the areas of the business that had been closed for some years. In 2019, we refurbished the hotel rooms and breakfast room, so that we could reopen The Old New Inn and welcome back overnight guests.
Having to remain mostly closed to the public throughout 2020-21, we then set out to bring back the ‘heart of the village’ by completing the Tap Room Bar & Restaurant renovations which opened in February 2022!
When it comes to food and drink, we wanted to create a menu that celebrates food from the local area.
So far, we have had an incredible journey running The Model Village and now the B&B and Restaurant too. We love welcoming the locals, our family & friends and many tourists throughout the year.
For those of you we haven’t met yet, here’s a little bit about us….
We purchased the Old New Inn & Model Village towards the end of 2018, knowing we had taken on quite a challenge, as both the bedrooms and bar/restaurant had been closed for many years. We had a vision and determination to refurb, improve and develop the main business areas that make up the business. Namely, the Model Village, which needs constant care and attention as the natural Cotswold Stone forms are affected by frost and rain.
The bedrooms were our immediate priority, as with both of us being ex hoteliers we knew we could make these some of the best rooms in Bourton for guests to stay. A full refurb and refit programme was started a couple of months after we moved in and within 4-5 months we had 8 (now 9), beautiful ensuite bedrooms to offer. The next phase was to bring the commercial kitchen up to modern day standards and ensure we had reliable equipment and good working spaces to cook and clean pots. This was completed in early 2021, along with our 9th bedroom (the Cotswold Suite) A year ago we were at last in a position to start the refurbishment of “The Tap Room” which we are delighted to have re-opened in March 2022 and is now going from strength to strength.
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
2018 Andrew and Julie Lund-Yates