Somerset's food-led Hunters Lodge country inn has been sold on the open market for the first time in 200 years.
The 17th century property was owned by the Matthews Brewery, which was formed 200 years ago and acquired in 1962 by Hall & Woodhouses's Dorset Brewery. The inn, however, was retained by the Matthews Family Trust.
The detached stone building occupies a two-acre site in the village of Leigh Common near Wincanton Racecourse. It is just off the A303, which is the main tourist route from Hampshire to the West Country.
The property, which retains period features such as exposed timbers and open fireplaces, has a locals bar, a lounge-bar, a 40-seat restaurant, a function suite/skittle alley and four-bedroom owners' accommodation.
Outside it offers a trade garden with a children's play area, a paddock, and car parks.
- "My aim is to develop a medium-sized family business over the next 10 years, comprising a number of profitable pub/restaurants, the Hunters Lodge being our first purchase," said Colonel Bain.
Acting on behalf of vendor Franey Gerrard Matthews, the Bristol office of Christie + Co sold the freehold off an asking price of £495,000.
By Angela Frewin