Willow House is one of the oldest houses in the town, dating back to 1556. During its long existence it has been used for a wide variety of occupations. In 1769 it was the vicarage and the incumbent was the Rev'd. Thomas Pigg and in all it was occupied by 13 vicars. It was also used as a private school, a boarding school, an antique shop and at the end of the First World War Mr. T. Baldry ran as a restaurant with boarding accommodation and a billiard saloon. Following that, half of it was used as a laundry, and by 1926 it was a dentist's surgery and at this time a lock-up confectionery and a tobacconist shop was erected on part of the front garden. This however was discontinued after five or six years.
A new Co-operative Stores was opened on another part of the front garden in 1928 and the building is now Rodney William's Gents Outfitters Shop.
The ancient Willow House was purchased by Modus Developments in 1973 when it was substan tially modified, completely renovated and finally converted into one of the most attractive restaurant in the county
Willow House as it was in 1973
In 1977 it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. R. Callan and during the next year their business boomed to such an extent that they decided to invest in a new public house which would form an extension to "Ye Olde Willow House" restaurant. This was built of old materials, most of which came from a 40X year-old barn, with its fine oak beams being incorporated into the main structure. The walls and ceilings were also designed to give an impression of maturity. The exterior was likewise constructed sc that the whole new building completely blends in with the existing property. The new Public House which was named "The Tavern" was opened to the public on 23rd May 1978.
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