A trip back in time?
Bearslake Inn is a historic 13th century building packed full of local history. The oldest part of the Inn is the bar and the first room to the left when you enter through the front door and was originally a Devon Longhouse. The longhouse is a dual purpose building providing both human and animal shelter under one roof. What is now the bar would have once been the Shippen (animal accommodation). The entrance hall is part of the original Cross Passage comprising a front and back door, separating the human accommodation which would have been to the left of the main door and is now the first of our cosy bar rooms.
The first longhouse would not have had chimneys or any first floor accommodation. The fire would have been in the main room with the smoke going straight up into the thatch. The original building was extended in the 16th and 17th centuries. At which time the chimneys, the parlor wing and first floor accommodation were added.
Many people ask us where the name Bearslake comes from; this is as much of the story as we have been able to piece together so far...
Bear or be-re comes from the old Devon word meaning wooded place. Lake is the hamlet where the farm is located; so the original name may have meant the wooded place in Lake. Why Lake? One theory dates back to the Civil war. The two nearby villages of Sourton and Bridestowe were divided one supporting the Royalists and the other the Parliamentarians. The story goes that there was a big battle between then two villages resulting in so many deaths that the area was a lake of blood. There is certainly no evidence of any other form of lake ever having been here.
Bearslake is now a Grade II listed building and as such we are striving to protect the authenticity of the original features. So although there is Free Wifi throughout the pub please bear in mind that cob and granite walls make for patchy signal at times.
Licensee Roll of Honour:
1956 - 1974 Joe Sweet
1974 - 1980 ish Morag Haine
1980 - 1988 Mike Power
1988 - 1995 Ray Taylor
1995 - 2000 John & Yvonne Streeter
2000 - 2004 Phil & Sue Acton
2004 - 2018 Simon & Christine Cross
2018 - Julian Tarrant-Boyce & Lisa Jenkins