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Hare & Hounds
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The Hare & Hounds is at the far end of Hempstead and is in fact almost in Baconsthorpe. Rumour had it that the parish boundary ran through the bar area but that is not the case, as the line runs just beyond the property's own boundary. The Hare & Hounds started off as a village beerhouse before becoming a licensed public house. It was first recorded in 1789, and was variously owned by the Marchioness of Lothian, the Marquis of Lothian, Major Gerald Southerland, B. & R. Stevenson and during its demise, Val Purkiss.

The Hare & Hounds had a chequered career, shutting and opening again on more than one occasion. In the early 2000s the pub was a thriving and profitable business but after a change in ownership its popularity plummeted as clientele chose to go elsewhere. The pub finally closed in 2010.

Stay of execution for Hare and Hounds pub in Baconsthorpe/Hempstead
Hopes of stopping a once-thriving village pub being turned into a house have been kept alive by planners.

North Norfolk District Council's (NNDC) development committee has voted to defer a change-of-use applicationby owner Val Purkiss for the Hare and Hounds, on Baconsthorpe Road, Hempstead.

Planning Officers had recommended that the controversial application should be granted this time, after a previos rejection which was upheld on appeal, because a pub had become unviable.

A report to councillors said the pub, which closed in 2010, had lost its sewerage system to neighbouring land after discovering it was illegal.

A new one suitable for commercial premises would cost £140,000 to install and another £10,000 every 45 days to empty, according to a quote submitted by Mrs Purkiss.

But councillors decided they wanted independent confirmation of the likely cost and have deferred their decision until officers have the new figures.

Several also felt that the pub had not been marketed well and had therefore not attracted a buyer.
Anthea Sweeney said the pub's closure was "absolutely tragic."

She added: "Not many years ago it was absolutely heaving. Since the applicant bought the pub it's been run down so much."

Richard Shepherd said the pub used to draw people from far afield. "We need that pub. It's the only one for blinking miles. It needs to be properly marketed and I don't think it has been," he added.

John Perry-Warnes, who supported the closure recommendation, said the current owners were "really not pub people."

Mrs Purkiss has previously stated that fewer than 20 locals a week used the pub.

Alex Hurrell, Eastern Daily Press - 19th December 2013

William Claxton 1789
James Pigg 1794
James Pegg 1836-1841
Henry Curson 1845
Thomas Cursin (also Curson) 1846-1875
Mrs. Emma Cursin (also Curson) 1875-1881
Robert Scarff 1881
Samuel Scarff 1925
John William Harmer 1939
Fred Ison 1954
Major Gerald Southerland 1957
Peter Marlow Gunnett 1970
Beryl Stevenson 1971
Val Purkiss 2008
More info available on Norfolkpubs website

O. S. Map 1885
O. S. Map 1885
Courtesy of NLS map images

If you have any memories, anecdotes or photos please let us know and we may be able to use them to update the site. Please or telephone 07836 675369

Website copyright © Jonathan Neville 2020
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