In March 2017, Alex, Blanche and Misty the dog moved into The White Hart and we would love to welcome you t0 our home.
We are joined by Karen, our manager, and we all like to think that everyone feels at home in our pub - dogs are welcomed with open paws (as long as the odd dog biscuit is left for Misty!) - as are children and the rest of the family.
As we are a free house, we are constantly talking to local breweries and producers to ensure that we offer a great selection of Dorset & Somerset drinks. Our menus change with the seasons and we offer simple, hearty country fare from our tried and tested local suppliers.
We look forward to welcoming you all.
We are pleased to say we are registered with The Alzheimer’s Society as a Dementia Friend - our staff have had some basic training to help recognise and understand if people need assistance or just a little more patience!
ABOUT THE 'HART
The White Hart is a lovely 16th century, grade II listed thatched freehouse. Located in the picturesque village of Yetminster - within easy reach of many Dorset attractions and towns - it is an ideal place to stop and while away some hours whilst enjoying the peace and beauty of this lovely part of the world.
With stone mullion windows, a huge inglenook fireplace and tons of character, the Hart really is the epitome of a beautiful, historical, Dorset village pub.
THE HISTORY OF THE WHITE HART & THE PEOPLE WHO RAN IT
(including excerpts from 'Yetminster & Beyond' by Nina Hayward)
The White Hart's interior, as in all old pubs, has been drastically altered however the structure suggests a date of late 16th or early 17th century. A couple of interesting older features can still be seen - next to the large fireplace are two alcoves. The one to the right originally housed a staircase and you can still see the blocked light (window) outside which would have lit this newel staircase. Also, the stone mullioned window in this area is larger that the other two , suggesting this South end was modified/rebuilt from the original plan to form a separate room.
The White Hart is the only Inn, of many, in Yetminster to have survived until today. Eight pubs were listed in the Ale House Recognisances held at Sherborne 5th September 1753 (the equivalent of our current licensing process), which were The 5 Bells, Half Moon, Flower Deluce, New Inn, Bell, Swan and Blackimores Head . It stands opposite an ancient thoroughfare, formerly known as Church Lane, at the lower end of which was a public well and beside that, it is believed, stood the stocks. (The Court house only being a couple of houses up).
Before 1742 it is a mystery who ran the pub but there is certain evidence that a Henry & Elizabeth Bishop were occupying the White Hart due to land dealings with neighbours and his name being introduced then.
For many years, it was run by the Hayes family. In January 1730, Edward Hayes took his bride from Glanvilles Wootton - Elizabeth Young. Over the next twelve years, they had eight children but, unfortunately, only five survived and in 1742 Edward's name appears for the first and only time as licensee. However on 15th August 1742 he died and at the next Court on 27th October 1742 Elizabeth Hayes was admitted to her late husband's 'cottage' and remained there for the next 30 years, appearing regularly on the annual Ale House bonds. We can be sure that it was the White Hart , for that is where she was in 1753 when it was named as such. She was obviously a busy woman, bringing up 10 year old Elizabeth and the other four toddlers (Mary, Edward, Sarah and Eleanor) as well as running the pub!
From Elizabeths's will, we know that she sold spirits as well as ale and the White Hart was also a venue for meetings and auction sales of property. In 1765 she was appointed an overseer of the poor and made shirts and shifts for the poor, for which she was paid.
The inn also had some kind of secure lock up, for there are records of payments being made to Mrs Hayes for holding prisoners overnight pending their removal to Sherborne gaol.
From her will, we can see she certainly prospered in her years at the White Hart and lived to see all her children married and produce grandchildren. She died in 1771. Edwared Hayes, her son, and his wife Mary, duly succeeded to the Inn and ran it for 30 years. During this time, the cottage adjoining the White Hart to the west (Bartletts?) came into his hands in 1782. Edward & Mary had only two children. When Edward died in 1804 at the age of 65, his son inherited the pub but died, unmarried in 1811. His sister Mary and her husband, Richard Andrews, inherited both the Inn and the cottage, known as Bartletts. It seems the the pub was mortgaged from William Barrett of Leigh as Richard Andrews paid him £400 in 1835 for 'that customary cottage etc. in Yetminster, for many years used as an Inn known as the White Hart'.
Richard and Mary had 8 children and Richard lived to the ripe old age of 86, dying in 1846 and bequeathing the White Hart to his son, William Andrews and the cottage, known as Bartletts, to his other son Charles.
William Andrews remained at the White Hart until about 1870 when Joseph Morey took over and he was the landlord for another twenty years. We know from the 1871 census that Joseph and his wife Sarah had four children and employed John Winzer as an Ostler, Martha (aged 17) as a general domestic servant and they had a lodger who was a labourer called John Moore.
In 1923 a William Swain is shown in the postal records as residing at the Inn and in 1939 an Arthur George Wyatt is listed.
I have received some more recent information from Howard Gray (with many thanks) who's parents Harold (Harry) and Dorothy (Dot) Gray were the publicans of the White Hart from 1968-1979.
The following pictures were supplied by him -
A photo of a painting a local artist did of Harry leaning on the pumps in the saloon bar
The bar, kitchen and waitressing staff taken in the early 70s. From front to back, Rachel McDonald, Margaret Waller (who was in the kitchen), Lynn Cairns, Lesly Gray (landlords daughter), Hazel Workman, Gerry Denyer and we haven't found out who the last person is- maybe Penny someone? Can anyone help?
And if you're a film buff... TAMARA DREWE
The film Tamara Drewe was filmed here in 2009. It is a modern re-working of the Thomas Hardy Film, Far from the Madding Crowd and starred Gemma Atterton as Tamara. It also included many well known British actors and was filmed in and around the pub.
More recently...... THE YETTIES
The Yetties were one of England's most popular folk groups from the late 60s until 2011. They take their name from the Dorset village of Yetminster which was their childhood home and played many times at The White Hart in the Skittle Alley. Some of their published records feature the pub in various ways. Their obvious love of the West Country, it's songs, stories and humour wins them friends wherever they go.
They travelled extensively in Europe and, under the auspices of the British Council, performed successfully in many countries, including Thailand, Nepal, Sri-Lanka, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Pakistan, Sudan, India, Bangladesh, The Maldives, The Philippines, Ethiopia and Canada. They had the knack of breaking down language barriers and getting people involved in what they did. Audience participation in a Yetties show was a very important ingredient and people joined in from the word go whether they were 9 or 90.
Over the years they recorded no less than 45 albums for different companies. Most of these were a mixture of songs and music but they have also been involved in some other fascinating projects. Thomas Hardy (the Dorset writer and poet) was also a musician. He and his family, over several generations, collected hundreds of folk tunes. The Yetties have done two recordings 'Thomas Hardy's own fiddle' and other 'Hardy family instruments'. So, because of The Yetties, Hardy's violin was brought back to life and so were his favourite jigs, polkas, reels and waltzes. Another recording of which they are extremely proud is a collection of songs and stories about cricketers of the past with John Arlott.
For years they had a regular series on BBC Radio 2 called 'Cider & Song'. They also have numerous other Radio and TV appearances to their credit. They must be about the only performers to have worked on BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Our alley is full of memorabilia, donated by members of the group (including Bob Common's Gold disc which has pride of place in the pub) - why not pop in an ask to see it or book it for a party and game of skittles?