History of the Sheaf of Arrows

The Inn is located in Dorset, just over the Somerset border, on the outskirts of Melbury Osmond or Meleberie as it is called in the 1086 Doomsday Book.  The road in front of the Inn running North to Yeovil and South to Dorchester is referred to as Yeovil Road, although the correct name is the Roman Road.

We do not know how old the building is, but in the late 1700’s the building was originally three small cottages which formed a small community tenanted by Millers, Blacksmiths, Grooms, Carpenters and Labourers.  These cottages were given to the Chauffeur of the Lady of the Manor in 1860 at which time they were converted to an Inn and a single storey extension added.

The Skittle Alley was built in 1938 and has been refurbished with a new roof 80 years on.

A family named Colley ran the pub for 80 years from 1855. The property was acquired in 1876 by Joseph Brutton, a common brewer and then named The Rest and Welcome Inn.  He started Bruttons Brewery which became Bass in later years. Charles and Ida House took over the pub in 1935.  They made various modernisations including raising the roof, a larger Top bar and a Ladies Toilet.  Up to 1947 when mains electric was installed in the area, the Inn relied on its own stationary engine that powered a generator behind the garage (which is now the kitchen).  There were 20 glass cased batteries charged up that were in the attic above the garage.  We have named the Function Room in memory of Charlie House and his 40-year tenancy.  Although Charlie is the one to be seen in most of the photographs we have put up, Ida was the one doing most of the hard work behind the scenes!  They very rarely took a day off in the whole 40-year period.

In 1977 Bass auctioned off the pub although the purchaser was required to purchase all alcoholic liquors for a period of 5 years, after which it became a Free House. Thomas Hardy, his second wife Florence and his dog, Wessex, last visited the Inn in 1927.  Mr Hardy based his story “Interlopers in the Knap” in and around Melbury Osmond and the characters stay at The Rest and Welcome Inn which he names the Sheaf of Arrows in his book.  The story can be found in the Wessex Tales Strange, Lively and Commonplace Vol 2 of 2 earlier versions.

We closed the Inn for 7 months in early 2018 to refurbish and update the property and changed the name to Sheaf of Arrows. And yes, we do have two ghosts!