Currently there is only one Public House in Spencers Wood, despite the increase in population. There were at least six in earlier days. The only remaining one is The Farriers.
When William Dopson purchased the building from William Goddard, we believe it was a smithy. After Dopson’s death, his wife, Sarah, ran the place as a pub. It has been a pub since 1891. There have been several owners. In 1985, there was a change of name when the landlord, who also owned The Swan in Three Mile Cross, instigated a competition to rename the pub. It became The Cygnet but reverted to the original name in 1993.
The Red Lion, which was situated on the Basingstoke Road opposite the Post Office, closed its doors in 1994 and was converted into two houses. We understand the men pictured outside the pub in this old picture were apparently railway men but as a group we would love to know more.
The Yew Tree Public House is now Farm View Day Nursery. In the 1891 census, the Beer House keepers were John and Jane Woodeson. We can find records of owners until 1935. Perhaps it became a house then. Locals called The Yew Tree, The Stump, when the yew tree after which it had been named, caught fire and burnt down leaving only a stump.
Does anyone know where The Fighting Cocks was? We have heard that it was situated on the Basingstoke Road between Beech Hill Road and Lambs Lane.
Little is known about The Four Mile Inn. It was pulled down many years ago but stood near the United Reformed Church. It had the alternative name of The Halfway Inn, as prisoners, who were appearing at Reading Assizes and were held at Basingstoke, would take refreshment there at the halfway point.
The Cricketers Public House was at Arden House, which is now The Hop Inn.
The Inn has returned to its roots. In the 1891 census, James Darvall was described as publican and milkman. In 1925, it became a butchers shop with a slaughterhouse at the back. It remained a butcher’s shop until 1970’s and was run by Mr & Mrs Prankard. Later there was a TV repair shop here and in the 1990’s, it became an off licence.