Friday, 24 February 2012

The Murrell Arms, Barnham

This classic village pub was built c. 1750 as a farmhouse by William Murrell, who owned much of Barnham. Its Georgian brick frontage is covered in Victorian stucco and has recently been given freshly painted traditional signage. The Murrell Arms became a pub in 1866 after the arrival of the railway two years previously caused village trade to prosper. The full licence was granted not without opposition from the Railway Inn, the Vicar and Churchwardens. The interior is little altered in the 47 years since the previous, long-serving licensees Mervyn and Daphne Cutten took over.

The Public Bar on the right was two very small rooms in the distant past and retains very old half panelling with some wall benches and a circa century-old curved counter at the rear. The fireplace, front counter and two small bar backs are at least forty years old. The middle area was originally a Jug and Bottle where a partition has been lost. Behind the servery is the cellar with casks on stillage. This area was at one time the living quarters.

The Stable Bar on the left, entered through a vestibule, has very old half panelling and two old fireplaces. Originally a stable, it was converted c. 1910 to a wooden Club Room with a glass covered walkway to the Public Bar. There is evidence of where a partition once divided the room in two and the barrel-counter (pictured above) replaced a hatch. Note the ceramic buttons with numbers on the doors.

The walls are covered in all manner of curios and artefacts collected by Mervyn Cutten (who died in 2006) and these were purchased from Daphne on her retirement last year by the incoming, present licensees Ryan and Heather Mayo. In the Public Bar is the rare game of Ringing the Bull. Beers are from the Fuller’s range with weekend guests. The Murrell Arms, Yapton Road, Barnham, West Sussex, PO22 OAS, tel. 01243 553320.


Cutten, M and May, V. (1992) The Mill and the Murrell: A Brief History (Eastergate: Beaver Print & Publicity Ltd)

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Treasure of a Beer

We are delighted to announce that Hammerpot Bottle Wreck Porter has been awarded Gold in the Porter category at CAMRA’s National Winter Ales Festival, at Manchester, from 18-21 January.

This superb beer, named after a 19th century shipwreck off the Sussex coast, found to be carrying hundreds of bottles of porter, was first brewed in 2007. Since then it has won many Beer of the Festival prizes and four regional awards from both CAMRA and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA). Although several of their other beers have also won awards, this is the first national award to be received by the brewery. Lee Mitchell, the Head Brewer at Hammerpot said that, “despite not being driven by awards it is very nice to be recognised and it reflects the efforts of the whole team here.”

Based in Poling, near Arundel, West Sussex, Hammerpot Brewery was established in 2005 by Lee (pictured left with his wife at the 2010 Worthing Beer Festival) with the intention of producing distinctive, quality craft brewed beers. They now produce at least twelve different beers throughout the year and continue to pursue those same aims.

With their 5-barrel plant, Hammerpot are a micro brewery in the truest sense and are delighted to be able to show that smaller end of the independent brewery sector can make beers worthy of national recognition. This award confirms what real ale drinkers in Sussex have long thought: that in Hammerpot Bottle Wreck Porter we have a great beer that is worthy perhaps of even international recognition. This golden achievement is testimony to the superb quality of this outstanding porter. Our congratulations go to all at Hammerpot Brewery.