IT'S the 600-year-old haunted Hampshire country pub once used by Oliver Cromwell which launched its own villageroo service during the Covid crisis.

The Brushmakers Arms at Upham has seen many uses during a fascinating history.

Apart from being a pub, it has been a private house, a school and is even believed to have been used as a campaign headquarters by Oliver Cromwell as he advanced on Winchester during the English Civil War in 1645.

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It also served the needs of travelling brush makers who fashioned Hampshire hedgerow hazel into domestic brushes.

It is thought that the pub may be haunted by Mr Chicket, the original brushmaker who was murdered during a robbery on the premises. There have been many reports of footsteps, doors rattling and sightings of apparitions over the years.

These days, this delightful inn perched on the edge of the South Downs National Park is in the capable hands of Nicky and Reece Taylor and is renowned for its exceptional locally sourced food cooked from scratch on the premises and selection of local real ales from The Flower Pots at Cheriton, Bowman at Droxford and Flack Manor at Romsey.

Daily Echo:

The famous black pudding Scotch eggs go down a storm alongside homemade pies and cod croquettes and a 'villageroo' service was launched during the pandemic.

"It's been difficult of course, but launching villageroo was brilliant for us," said Nicky.

"Our regulars have been very loyal to us and we've made lots of new customers through it. Word got around and we were delivering 90 meals a day at times!

"We have wonderful locals and are part of such a nice community."

The lovely big garden, which enjoys great views and space to grow vegetables and herbs, was also a big help as hospitality went outdoors.

The monthly quiz and regular live music draw a decent crowd to the pub and locals simply love the annual nativity service and carols where the church comes to the pub!

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