My article a few weeks ago about The Ship at Britford had a good response and thank you to those of you who got in touch.

I received a question from Paul Haskins who wanted to know about another local pub in Burcombe which is also called The Ship. I must admit that many, including myself, have wondered why such a lovely country Inn as that at Burcombe should be called The Ship, since it seems to have never had anything to do with the sea and those who go down to it.

The nearest I can come to giving an answer is what an old resident of Burcombe told me a good while ago. He told me that years ago when there were sheep fairs held in Salisbury, Wilton and Britford, the animals had to be brought in to their various destinations by shepherds and their helpers including their well-trained dogs and they used the back road through Burcombe.

It was thirsty work and they stopped at the inn which became known as The Shep. My informant recalled the coming of the Lorries for sheep transportation and the fact that Wilton became the only local place where sheep fairs were held, so The Shep changed with the times and became The Ship.

For many centuries, Wilton has been the centre of the sheep trade for the whole of the south-west of England. The Great Fair, held in September, is claimed to be the largest in this part of the country and is held by virtue of a Charter granted to the town by King Henry VI in 1433.

The 17th century Ship Inn at Burcombe has many memories for me and I can remember indulging in their excellent cuisine before relaxing in the wonderful garden overlooking the river. I must visit again soon...