I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Hook and Glove at Farley and this is a pub with quite a history.

“We are the only pub with this name in the world,” announced owner Fiona McKie.

“Farley is a heavily wooded area, with oak and hazel predominating. It is also in an area with a wealth of thatched cottages. The "hook" is used to split hazel for spars for thatching (what holds the thatch down) and also for sheep hurdles, the "glove" is worn on the left hand to prevent the "hook" from damaging your other wrist. This activity still flourishes in the village.”

After speaking to Fiona for a few minutes it became obvious that this pub has played a large part in her life. Indeed, it has been her local for 40 years, and she bought the freehold just over six years ago to save it from closing.

“We think the present building dates from around 1910,” she said. “It was built after the original thatched building burnt down.”

A photograph of the original pub hangs in the Hook as a reminder of bygone days…

It is a sad fact that many of the thatched cottages in the village burned down or, sadly, were bulldozed at the end of the Second World War to make way for new bungalows. At one time there were two pubs in Farley, the other one "The Ilchester Arms" is in the lower part of the village and the building still stands as a private house.

The Hook and Glove is a traditional and friendly free house very close to beautiful Bentley Wood and the Clarendon Way. It has a footpath directly through the pub garden to stunning countryside but watch out for the Shetland pony in the paddock because he has a notorious temper!

Well, with a name like "Frogspawn" what would you expect!