The History of the Angel Inn
The earliest records for this building date back to 1495 when it became the Church House. It was used as a sort of parish hall for meetings and social events, the most important being the ‘Church Ale’. This was held several times a year, whereby church wardens sold food and ale to raise funds for the church, together with dancing, plays and other festivities.
This building gained the name “The Angel Inn” or “The Sign Of The Angel” in 1912. Long Ashton has always been popular with Bristol visitors and it was no different in the 18th Century when young men came to take part in contests to win money or goods, usually a fine beaver hat or a pair of buckskin breeches. The stage would have been set up in the cobbled courtyard, which even today is the scene of many an interesting night.
According to tradition the local justices also met at The Angel Inn in the room now known as the Smoke Room. The vaulted cellar beneath The Angel Inn served as the village lock up where trouble makers and those convicted of minor offences could be imprisioned for a few days. Others would be held in custody before being sent for trial or while they awaited transport to the Bridewell at Shepton Mallett.
The Angel Inn has played an important part in the history of the village. Both the Inn, which still has its original oak roof and the outbuilding to the rear are regarded as being of special architectural and historical interest and are Grade II listed buildings. The outbuilding is no longer used as a stable, but as a home for the swallows which can be seen from April to September coming and going in the hayloft, as they have done for centuries, which is always left open for them. The saddle hooks can still be seen in the walls and the drinking trough now houses flowers.
Although there have been a few changes over the centuries, The Angel Inn is still a beautiful and impressive building, retaining many features such as the huge fireplace which is still the main heating for the building, wooden shutters and heavy oak doors. It is still the village pub with a long tradition of serving ale and traditional good food to the public.