The Chequers, Chipping Norton
Is a traditional English pub situated in the beautiful town of Chipping Norton, located next door to the theatre. The Chequers is well known for it’s cosy & friendly atmosphere. With three softly lit beamed rooms that are comfortable and full of character. All rooms feature flagstone flooring, low ochre ceilings and log fires. The bar area can be dated back as far as 1444 so the original building has a wealth of history.
There is a light and airy conservatory restaurant behind the bar areas, as well as a separate space to the rear of the restaurant that has been converted from a barn into an ideal party/function/meeting room. The Chequers welcomes children and dogs in the bar area and free wifi is available throughout the building.
The Landlord has both Cask Marque acrreditation and is a Fuller’s Master Cellarman. The club plays host to various community groups and is home to the popular Cotswold Comedy Club which takes place on the last Thursday of the month.
In the early days
There is evidence to suggest that The Chequers actually started out as a large medieval house with several cottages attached. There are several features within this building that proves it dates back to this period. An extant timber truss in which three of the timbers have been dated to between 1444 and 1476. The truss is located on the second floor above the bar area. With this truss and the other remaining timbers from the original roof construction there is clear evidence that the earliest building here was a narrower tenement with a gable-end fronting Spring Street. Later alterations extended the building southwards with a gable-end facing Market Street; this roof area has been dated to 1613-18.
In the 1650s it was occupied by Richard Batty, a blacksmith, and it had four hearths in 1662. When he died in 1667 the house became the property of the Norgrove family. Nathan Norgrove, a wealthy tanner, lived here in 1682 before he acquired the tanyard in Church Lane. The house descended to Nathan’s granddaughter Mary who married another tanner, Thomas Rouse. After Mary died in 1755 her husband opened the house as an inn called the Blue Anchor.
And Then …
The Blue Anchor changed its name to the Chequers at the very beginning of the 1800 after some refurbishment was undertaken. A ceiling beam in the rear bar has been dated back to 1772-1804; this probably dates from when the updates took place. Thomas Bucket, the inn.keeper from 1827-40, demolished the two old cottages adjoining the inn on the north side and built a stable and coach-house.
The Chequers was popular with dealers on market days and advertised ‘capital stabling, warm and well fitted up, affording standing room for market and fair days for 50 to 60 horses, spacious lofts, a wide entrance for gigs etc’. The inn was again offered for sale in 1841 when the description of the premises included ‘a newly-erected market room on ground floor, 5 good chambers and 5 garrets an underground cellar with pump of never-failing excellent water’. The inn expanded still, incorporating the gable-fronted building on the corner of Goddard’s Lane as well as property on its north side giving entrance to the stabling.
The Chequers was sold to Hall’s Brewery in 1867 and is still flourishing today after being taken over by Fullers.