14th April 2018
The Cross, a Delightful Bed and Breakfast in Croscombe, Somerset
Hospitality has been a long-standing tradition at The Cross in Croscombe, Somerset ever since this original medieval building was licensed as a public house in 1516. In those days it was called the Rose and Crown and retained this name until 1976 when it changed its name to the Bull Terrier. The doors of the Bull Terrier closed for the last time in 2014 and the property was sold. The new owner, Terri Chichester, undertook the huge task of converting this lovely building into impressive bed and breakfast accommodation.
When I arrived I was warmly greeted by Terri who showed me to my room. This spacious, light room was at the front of the building overlooking the River Sheppey after which it is named. After a busy day exploring the nearby cathedral city of Wells I just wanted to kick off my shoes and relax. My room was perfect for this – two comfy armchairs in the small bay window and tea-making facilities on a shelf in the large built-in wardrobe.
There was a small bar downstairs next to one of the two snug sitting rooms and if I needed anything more substantial the George Inn was a short distance down the road in the village centre close to the Village Shop. I was happy to just sit quietly and check my emails using the free WiFi that was available throughout the building. I had intended to be more active but could not resist the opportunity to have a long soak in the large claw-footed bath in my large en-suite bathroom.
After a good night’s sleep in the large, comfy double bed I was ready for another day out. But first, an excellent breakfast provided by Terri. I chose from a fine selection of fresh fruit, fruit juices and cereals before choosing my cooked breakfast. I loved the ambience of the dining room with its wooden furniture and stone slab floor. After I had eaten Terri joined me and told me about the history of The Cross and the challenge she had faced converting a pub into a bed and breakfast. I had wondered about the name but that mystery had been solved on my arrival as the old village cross stands on the pavement outside the building. There had been an attempt to remove this historic monument around 1870 as it was felt it impeded the passage of horse-drawn carriages but fortunately it failed. Terri’s conversion has restored many of the original beams and open fireplaces in this Grade 2 listed building that had hitherto been concealed. It was very pleasant sitting in the homely dining room.
I discovered that The Cross is more than just a bed and breakfast as Terri organises pop-up shops and pop-up restaurants. The latter include suppers with Mary Cadogan a renowned cook and food writer. Terri took me on a tour of the whole building which is much larger than I had anticipated. Each of the five bedrooms is named after a river and all of them are spacious and well-furnished. The family room is actually two separate rooms, adjoining double and twin rooms. Outside there is a small courtyard and on the upper level a garden with lovely views of the surrounding countryside.
Beyond the garden is the parish church, the Church of Saint Mary the Virgin is a Grade 1 listed building. The fifteenth century exterior has an impressive Jacobean http://elizabethanenglandlife.com/Jacobean-Era/jacobean-architecture.html interior and is well worth a visit. The church bells ring out every Monday evening courtesy of the local bell-ringers.
The proximity of the village of Croscombe to the cathedral city of Wells and Bath mean The Cross is the ideal place to stay while visiting these cities. As there are some lovely walks in the Mendips from the village it is also a good centre for those just wanting to enjoy the rolling Somerset countryside. I wished i could have extended my stay in this hospitable hostelry.