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09 April 2019 | Pubs

Canalside Wiltshire inn finds new lease of life with local buyer through Christie & Co

Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co has sold the Barge Inn, a canalside pub and restaurant with views of the famous Pewsey Vale White Horse in Wiltshire to a local, first time buyer in the sector.

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The three storey Grade II listed property, originally built in the early 1800s, sits on two acres and comprises a public bar and two separate dining areas, one of which displays the pub’s famous crop circle mural painting. The well-established pub is popular with locals and has a worldwide reputation among the crop circle community, hosting the annual Crop Circle Exhibition & Information Centre.

Also featured on the site is a two storey oak barn, adjoining the pub, which was rebuilt in 2014 and extensively refurbished in 2017, and a one-acre caravan and camping field. 

The Vale of Pewsey attracts visitors year-round to explore the surrounding countryside, popular among cyclists, walkers, horse riders and especially crop circle enthusiasts, which the area was well known for particularly in the 1980s. 

New owner, Alistair Sinclair, had previously run a care home business which he sold before seeing that the Barge Inn was for sale. Having been a frequent patron, living in the local area, he decided to purchase the pub and run it along with his wife, Sheila, son Brendan and daughter-in-law, Jen. Mr Sinclair plans to redecorate the Barge and bring it back to its roots as a thriving local pub serving classic dishes and catering to locals, visitors, and boaters on the canal, aiming to reopen in the summer. 

Mr Sinclair comments, “Having sold my business with the intention of retiring I had not considered buying a pub but this one is dear to my heart. June and Adrian Potts successfully ran the Barge for 17 years and it was a place where all, including campers, boaters, families, and the local community, were welcome. I want to return it to those days, and we have the additional facility of the barn which I believe offers a wealth of other possibilities. I must say that Christie & Co and Nick Calfe in particular have been very helpful throughout the transaction.”

Nicholas Calfe, Director based in Christie & Co’s Bristol office who handled the sale, comments, “The Barge received a huge amount of interest, with multiple viewings and offers from a range of potential buyers. Due to its location by the canal and strong reputation, the business attracted a mix of professional restauranteurs, local operators, and leisure enterprises, looking to capitalise on the potential to develop the camping and activity trade. 

“After receiving seven offers, three of which were over the guide price, we were delighted to have agreed a sale to Alistair as he has some great plans for the pub and is passionate about maintaining it as a hub in the community. Pub businesses in the South West which offer a range of income streams in attractive locations continue to be extremely popular and we are sure the Barge Inn will continue to thrive under its new ownership.”

The Barge Inn was sold off an asking price of £595,000 for the freehold interest.