AN OFFER has been made on a formerly rat-infested and rundown Southampton pub.

Estate agents Savills have confirmed the offer by a “private and local” individual for The Old Farmhouse, one of the oldest pubs in the city.

As previously reported, the pub closed its doors after health inspectors found the kitchen was infested with rats.

A scathing inspection of the premises found rat droppings in a food storage area and no hot water supply for the whole building.

In a report from by the Food Standards Agency, who carried out the inspection, the pub needed “urgent improvement” and gave it a food hygiene rating of 0 out of 5.

Described as a “historical gem in a suburban setting”, the 17th-century pub in Mount Pleasant Road was the only food establishment in Southampton to score a zero in recent times.

Environmental health officer, Nicholas Cox, from the Food Standards Agency, reported finding rat droppings behind the ice machine the food storage area during the inspection in February.

The pub’s owners, Enterprise Inns said that at the time it was being operated by a separate management company, Pub Solutions Limited.

But several Southampton residents groups and historical groups previously called on the pub to be saved.

Chairman of the Outer Avenue Residents Association, John Hayward, said it would be a shame if the pub closed permanently and would be a sad loss for the city.

He said: “It is remarkable how fast pubs are disappearing everywhere. The Old Farmhouse should be saved.”

Despite its neglected state, the Grade II listed building has many of its original features such as low ceilings, exposed beams and brickwork, wood panelling and open fireplaces. It is even rumoured Oliver Cromwell stayed there in the 1650s.

Bevois Mount History, spokeswoman Ally Hayes, said: “I would like it to open up again, but with owners who are aware of its importance as a historical site and who are able to give it a proper profile.

“I think it is sad, it is a shame that so many are being lost to the community.

“What it needs is someone with imagination to take it on and draw people in.”

The property is listed in the 2017 Rating List with a rateable value of £11,500 and has been granted a Premises Licence in accordance with the Licensing Act 2003.

It has approximately 825 years remaining on the long lease, and there is no record of the landlord.