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The history of Croscombe & my b&b

The village of Croscombe in Somerset is just a couple of miles away from the market town of Shepton Mallet and England’s smallest cathedral city, Wells.

Croscombe, Somerset

Croscombe is a delightful village with a wealth of history. King Ine even mentioned it in his charter, (known as Correges Cumb) way back in 706 A.D.! More recently, Croscombe was a runner up in the Small Village of the Year category of the 2018 Somerset Live awards.


In Medieval times the area was devastated by the plague. However, the fortunes of Croscombe changed dramatically with the development of the wool trade in the 15th century. Renowned and respected for the quality of its wool, (known as ‘the Golden Fleece’) the village prospered. The area became so important that it even warranted a visit by Queen Elizabeth I.

The Industrial Revolution eventually took its toll, leading to the demise of the wool and cloth industry and a period in the doldrums for Croscombe and the surrounding areas.

However, you can’t keep a good village down and the community spirit ensured that its fortunes improved once again.

Bed and breakfast in Croscombe Somerset


The Cross at Croscombe is a Grade II listed building. It is modelled on a medieval house and still retains many original features.The building dates from the last quarter of the 15th century and originally belonged to Glastonbury.

The first license was granted in 1516 making it one of the oldest pubs in the West of England! Alongside its history as a hostelry, the site was at one time a leper house.

Bed and breakfast in Croscombe Somerset

For many years it traded as the Rose & Crown. Previous inn keepers have included a Mr Luffe (1666). He, rather ingeniously, had his own token coinage minted! Another owner of the Rose & Crown were the Barnfathers. (You can read more about the very interesting Barney Barnfather in the book, ‘Life on a spitfire squadron’ by Angus Mansfield.)

The landlady in the early 19th century was, apparently, a rather formidable character. Rose Hodges was her name and she was not to be trifled with.

More recently, it was the Bull Terrier public house. (You can read more about the transformation from Bull Terrier pub to The Cross bed and breakfast.)

Croscombe Somerset

Pic courtesy of Ry George – The premises in the 1930s

Around 20 years on from the photo above. The facade of the building looks much better.

Croscombe Somerset

Pic courtesy of Ry George – The premises in the 1950s

The building still contains many features from years past.

Cross at Croscombe – Brue room

The Cross at the front of this bed and breakfast was put in place in the 19th century. It replaced one that had stood in the same spot since the 14th century!

Croscombe Somerset

The market cross adorned with knitted poppies

Evidence shows that the stocks were also located next to the Cross and it was the prime meeting place for commercial transactions and celebrations. Accounts also exist of an uprising in the village when Way-Wardens endeavoured to remove the Cross.

Today, Croscombe has an award-winning pub, a beautiful church, thriving school and a well used village hall. It provides the ideal base from which to explore the many and varied delights of Somerset.

For more information and ideas for things to see and do Visit Somerset or read my blogs on the local area.

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