The Hatton Arms - Corby, Northamptonshire
You are assured of a warm welcome at the The Hatton Arms, a quintessential old English country pub, tucked away on Arnhill Road in the pretty stone village of Gretton. Formerly a gatehouse, The Hatton Arms is a true gem over-looking the glorious Welland Valley and Rutland countryside. This traditional freehouse is the second oldest pub in the county dating back to the early 14th century and is the oldest domestic building in the village. It has long been at the heart of the community, but is the kind of local's pub that is friendly and welcoming to visitors. The Hatton Arms was sympathetically renovated in 2004 when a restaurant and terrace were added, both of which enjoy far reaching views over the Welland Valley. The heavily beamed and stone flagged bar and the cosy lounge with its open fireplace exude historic charm. The pub is now known for serving the best of modern British cuisine, real ales and fine wines in relaxed and welcoming surroundings. Up to six well-kept real ales and ciders are served including Marston's Pedigree and changing guest ales - often from local breweries. The bar room dating back to the 14th Century, where local's tankards still hang above the bar, The lounge enjoy a pre-dinner drink or have a bite to eat in front of the open fire, The restaurant relaxed, comfortable dining, The terrace an ideal spot to enjoy a drink whilst watching the sunset, Views across the Welland Valley.
The Hatton Arms is believed to be the second oldest pub in Northamptonshire.The building would originally have been one of the first dwellings reached on the outskirts of the village on the original road from Rockingham to Gretton and would probably have acted as a gatehouse. The oldest part of the building is thought to date back to the early 14th Century. A beam in the bar room bears the three crowns mark and is reputed to date from 1100. During the Second World War airmen from nearby bases would leave a coin in the cracks of the beams over the bar before flying off on a mission, sadly most of these coins were removed during re-decorations in the 1980Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s
There is also a story about the beam which lies over the inglenook in the bar. A previous landlord is understood to have broken his neck on it one night when standing up too quickly to tend the fire, possibly after drinking too much of the local brew! The building was extended in the 15th Century, to include what is now the lounge bar. In the 18th Century a further extension was built to the rear. The pub was been extensively re-furbished in 2004, including building a new entrance way, toilet block and The Hatton restaurant to the rear. The pub may have been the first in England to have a black landlord. Back in the 1600Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s James Chappel was a Negro servant to Elizabeth IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Lord Chamberlain, Sir Christopher Hatton, of nearby Kirby Hall ( also lord of the manor of Gretton). Chappel is known to have rescued his masterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s family from an explosion whilst they were staying in Guernsey. As a show of gratitude Sir Christopher granted James a healthy pension and reputably made him landlord of the Hatton Arms, then known as The LordÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Arms. For many years The Hatton Arms provided the venue for the Manor Court, which dealt mainly with minor offences, property and rent issues within the parish boundaries. The court met and dealt with matters on a regular basis in an upstairs room at the inn, last meeting in the 1920Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s. There is still a local Ã¢â‚¬ËœFelons SocietyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ made up of descendents of the original members of the court, local business men and landowners. This group still hosts an annual dinner at the pub. The function room at the pub is still known as the Old Band Room, this is after the Gretton Silver Band who used it from the 1800Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s up to the 1950Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s for band practice. There are some interesting old photos at the pub, including one of the Hatton Arms Sick club Ã¢â‚¬â€œ from the early 1900Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s - before the welfare state, when men would pay into a club or fund to help them through times of ill health.