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The Bakers at Badbury

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Cut off from its small car park by the windy road from Chiseldon to Liddington, The Bakers Arms is probably as close as it is possible to get to the archetypal little, down-to-earth, country 'local'.

A chimney breast divides the lounge from the public bar and adds much to the cosy atmosphere in what a CAMRA pub guide described as "a bright, sparkling little pub".

It is also just off the beaten track. Whether that 'track' is the A346 Swindon-Marlborough road, which is only a stone's throw away, or the M4, Junction 15, being a matter of two minutes' drive away, the Bakers is worth seeking out and easily found.

And there are no prizes for guessing the origin of its name. Like Arkell's two other Bakers, this handsome little pub really did used to be the village baker's shop.

The building dates from before 1841 and from at least this time until 1885 the Horton family ran it jointly as a beerhouse and a baker's shop.

However, there was a brief interlude of two years when landlord Young Horton was held at Her Majesty's pleasure for assaulting his 14-year-old home help. His wife's application for a spirit licence - made to the same Magistrates who put her husband 'inside' - was, not surprisingly, rejected. (In fact, though it had been a beerhouse for well over a century, the Bakers wasn't granted a full licence until 1960).

The pub changed hands several times before Arkell's finally bought it in 1906 and gave the Bakers the air of quiet respectability that it still exudes today.
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