Boot Inn





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1-6 High Street 



The Boot Inn



The land which went with the building which is now the Boot Inn used to cover the area down Duck Lane as far as the river, and south (along the main road) roughly the same as now, although there was a cottage between the Stables and The Boot Inn, included in this area.

The Boot Inn is grade II listed, built in the mid 1600’s,of flint and limestone bands with tiled roof which was formerly thatched. The front part is the oldest, the staircase used to curve up from the east side of the fireplace. The rear range and dormers were added in the 1890’s as were the front windows.

It was owned with the rest of the village, by James Harris Lord Malmesbury in the 1700’s and before, then bought with almost everything else in the early 1800’s  by Lord Ashburton. The house and land were rented by William Langley in 1740. He was a grocer and farmer. Then, at the turn of that century it was let to Thomas Miles, the local farmer, and he probably let it to William Kite. It was described as a House with Outbuildings. Around this time William Kite was a boot and shoemaker, he may well have been employed by James Carter who lived over the road at Rushton Cottage.

Then in 1807 he took over the late James Carter’s business, advertizing in the Salisbury Journal on 15th June, as a Boot and Shoemaker and “A man’s man wanted”

The Kites continued living in this house. William combined shoe and boot making with ale house keeping, he married Mary who died in 1846, they had two children, Ann born in 1811 who married James Imshem the publican at Stoford in 1852 when she was 41. William continued at “Boot” as both innkeeper and shoemaker until his death in 1864, apparently looking after his son Charles, who had no occupation, he was probably disabled. I do not know what happened to Charles on William’s death.

Robert Keel and his wife Ann (both in their forties, from Barford St Martin) took over both businesses, at  “Kite’s beerhouse”. By 1881 Robert was an Innkeeper, no longer making boots, he died in 1885. Ann died in 1892 aged 75, she had been living in Barford St Martin, but came back here to be buried.

George Keel, with his wife Harriet, took over the Beer House. He was not the son of Robert and Ann, his parents were Richard and Elizabeth Kiel, farm worker, from Berwick. He was the innkeeper until 1921. He held a free licence, but the property was let to him. During his time there were many changes in the village. Lord Ashburton sold the village (including The Boot) in 1896, to Mr Hooley, who had the pub rebuilt. Only 2 years later it was sold again, to the Furness family. Later still to Sir Cecil Chubb, then the Board of Agriculture.

In the 1921 sale it was described as “In the occupation of George Keel, for many years, a free house, To be sold when he leaves on 29th Sept next”. It was bought by Wadworths brewery for £1600

Since then it has been run by licencees for Wadworths Brewery in Devizes. Some of these were; 1923 G C Sanger. 1925 F Shergold. 1931 Mr Clark. 1934 Joseph Pember who was licencee for 21 years until his death in 1955 aged 74. 1960 T Chirgwin. 1990’s Neil Blake. After a successful fight to prevent Wadworths building on the garden, and to keep the pub open, there was major refurbishment in the late 1990’s.

Up until April this year it was successfully run by Kathy and Donna Duval, with high quality meals, and an award winning garden. We now welcome Giles and Cathy, and look forward to their success.

Researched and written by Nicky Street.























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