Martin and Julie Crane assumed management of the historic Pheasant Inn in November 2019, shortly before the first lockdown.

Martin, 59, has 29 years of experience running pubs.

The first pub he ever ran, in Chalfont St Giles, was also known as The Pheasant Inn.

The medieval building used to be five attached dwellings. The shoemakers first acquired the corner section in 1638, when schoolmaster Philip Crew left his house to the guild.

The house was then extended at the back to create the first-floor shoemakers’ meeting room with a buttery beneath known as Crew Hall.

Martin said: “You get a sense of all the people that have been there before you, people who have done the same thing as me - poured those pints 100 years, 200 years ago.

"You come down and think, well, someone was standing on this spot 300 years ago, or near here doing exactly what I was doing. You get that feeling of history.”

The shoemakers’ hall now acts as a meeting room for multiple community organisations, whom Martin allows the use of the room for free. Groups such as the Salisbury-Xanten Twinning Association, the Fisherton History Society, the Salisbury Apple User Group and the Toastmasters-affiliated group Salisbury Speakers all make use of the space.

In keeping with its historical tradition, the pub offers old-fashioned real ale pints.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) maintains a yearly Good Beer Yearbook, to which The Pheasant Inn was recently added.

Real ale, also known as cask ale, is beer made according to a more traditional recipe, process and method of storage.  

It does not require artificial re-carbonisation and the live yeast remains in the cask. Real ale doesn’t feature constant bubbles like lager because the carbon dioxide is produced and absorbed by the ale itself.

Martin said: “[The real ales] have a natural gas to them, they absorb their own gas.”

Although it retains the name of The Pheasant Inn, the business no longer rents rooms. But that hasn’t stopped old tenants from staying.

Martin said: “It comes with its own ghosts.”

The sounds of footsteps and doors slamming can be heard with no explanation.

Martin said: “One night, my wife was in the living room, sitting on the sofa, and she hadn’t moved from the sofa in about an hour, and I came upstairs and I said, ‘Have you been running around upstairs?’

She said no, she said, ‘I’ve been sitting here all along. Did you come upstairs about 15 minutes ago and slam the door?’”

The Pheasant Inn is located on the corner of Salt Lane and Rollestone Street, where it has stood since the 17th Century. It is open from 12pm to 11pm every day except Mondays.

You can read stories on The Dust Hole here, The Ox Row Inn here, The Royal George here, The Duke of York here, The Five Bells here, and The Winchester Gate here, the Village Freehouse here, and the Geroge and Dragon here..