IT IS a much-loved pub and it’s in one of the most historic buildings in Southampton.

But the Ferryman and Firkin is the latest city pub to fall foul of the credit crunch and now bosses have said it must close its doors.

Owners, Spirit Group, called time on the High Street watering hole due to dwindling profits brought about by the economic downturn.

Now drinkers have just one week left to enjoy the pub before it shuts its doors for good on April 4.

Landlady, Debbie Foot, pictured right, who has run the pub for more than two years, said she was “devastated” by the closure.

“The first I knew of it was when my area manager called a meeting and told me that the brewery was shutting the pub.

“I fell in love with this pub two and a half years ago and I have been in love with it ever since.

“The customers are fantastic and the pub has this really great atmosphere.

“I’m devastated it is being closed.

“Not only will Southampton lose another pub, but I am now faced with finding somewhere else to work and live, which is going to be difficult in the current circumstances.”

The Grade II listed building, which dates to 1866, used to house the Woolwich Building Society and was opened as a Firkin chain pub in 1996.

It is sandwiched between the famous Dolphin Hotel and the ruins of Holyrood Church.

The Ferryman and Firkin is the 57th pub to close in Southampton in the last three years. The British Beer and Pubs Association said one in four of the city’s pubs had shut in that time, equivalent to 23 per cent of the city’s stock.

Campaigners blame cut-price booze offers from supermarkets, rocketing tax and the rise of mega pub chain firms. In Hampshire, more than 12 per cent of pubs have closed, double the national average.