The Church House Inn
Set amongst beautiful rolling hills in the South Hams countryside, The Church House Inn in Stokenham is steeped in history and dates all the way back to the 1400s. We are led to believe that it was originally built as the priory for the Monks who built St. Michaels Church which still stands proudly beside us today.
Just a short drive from us is Slapton Sands where in 1944, during World War II, the entire area was evacuated, and the buildings requisitioned for the US army to practice for the D-Day landings. The Church House Inn fell into sad disrepair during this time, and when it was handed back about 18 months later, the Church House’s roof had fallen in, believed to have been hit by a shell. There was extensive damage caused to both the Inn and to the church next door and the duck pond, which is where our current car park is now, was drained and the building restored.
To this day you can still see where the damaged stained-glass windows of the church were replaced with clear glass on one side, and a M4A1 Sherman tank which had once been sunk has been recovered and stands on the road at Torcross, just a short walk from us.
Post-war, The Church House Inn has had many landlords. Pre-1959 it was owned by Doris and Harry Hibbs and then later between 1961-1975 by Tom and Edna Stevens. The Stevens’ served a simple menu of sandwiches, ploughman’s and pasties which were produced in a kitchen which is now our snug area.
Between 1981 and 2000 Jon Godfrey and his wife Chris managed the Church House and back then it was famous for serving jacket potatoes with 100 different fillings! You name it, you could order it- from the more traditional toppings of beans and cheese or tuna, to some we would rather not try ourselves such as sardines with blue cheese!
Heavitree Brewery based in Exeter took over on 25th June 1928 and the pub has seen many changes as well as different landlords. One thing which has always remained the same is our longest-serving guest Alan arriving every day at midday, and we’re always ready with his drink set out on the bar waiting for him.
Throughout the years the pub has changed quite dramatically and although we no longer have a pub allotment to grow our own vegetables or the village prison next door to us like there once was, we are firm believers in using local produce which is always fresh and has been ethically sourced.
Now in the 21st Century, with Scott and Rachael at the helm and our Head Chef Lee in the kitchen, our menu focuses on classic pub food with modern twists. We move with the seasons with regular menu changes and whether you’re a carnivore, herbivore or something in-between, we cater for all.
The Church House Inn was fully refurbished in 2017, with a new bar in place of what was a conservatory, full renovation throughout and even a new kitchen. We added 4 modern and comfortable en-suite bedrooms with walk-in showers and hand-crafted King size beds which are available for bed and breakfast stays, the perfect base to explore the surrounding area and all it has to offer.