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)

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