A centuries old pub at the heart of a rural Lincolnshire village has been given a new lease of life as a luxury B&B, café and community room following a ‘labour of love’ renovation by Heritage Lincolnshire.
The Old King’s Head, a 16th-century grade II listed building in Kirton, stands on a road once a hub for those who travelled by sea, and which connected London to Boston, one of England’s most important trading ports in times past.
Originally called The King’s Head and The Swan, its history stretches back to 1599, when John Wyberd became the first owner of the coaching inn built by his family.
It remained an inn and pub – including a stint in the 1950s with an internationally known boxer, Johnny Cuthbert, as landlord – before being turned into a house during the 1960s.
But after being left empty, the building was in danger of falling into disrepair when Heritage Lincolnshire, the county’s buildings preservation trust, stepped in and bought it in 2016.
Now, after extensive restoration works which began in February 2019 thanks to fundraising and grants, including National Lottery Heritage funding, The Old King’s Head will re-open its doors once more on 1 October.
From the building renovation and stable block conversion to heritage-inspired sage green windows and traditional themed decor in the nine en-suite rooms, the transformation has brought the building back to life while retaining its charm.
Previous owners of the inn have been remembered in the B&B room names, including the Wyberd Room, honouring the first owner, and all have been individually designed and decorated to highlight the building’s character and history.
Among original features are fireplaces in many of the rooms, while the original doors for each guest room have also been lovingly restored – with the most unusual being what must be one of the smallest doorways of any accommodation.
As well as the guest rooms – including some dog friendly rooms and a two-storey unit which can accommodate family or friends – the café, open to the public as well as guests, will serve home-made meals and snacks using locally sourced ingredients.
For visitors who want to explore the village of Kirton, as well as the history of the Old King’s Head itself, hour-long tours led by Heritage Lincolnshire volunteers are available.
And the community room will also host workshops, including have-a-go leathermaking, with half day taster session on 7th October and 3rd November; Make a Belt on 26th October; Make a Dog Collar on 21st November, and a full day’s workshop on 20th November (www.heritagelincolnshire.org/shop/short-courses/)
Guest rooms cost from £79 per night, bed and breakfast.
For more details about the Old King’s Head, visit https://theoldkingshead.com
For general information about visiting Lincolnshire, see www.visitlincolnshire.com
Photos: Chris Vaughan Photography