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Local Talkback
Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Allen Butler (3rd Oct 2008 @ 09:43:20)

The last time I saw this building it was in an advanced state of dereliction. Can any one tell me who owns the site and what are the plans for the site.

My interest lies in that I am related to the Butler family that ran the Inn from around 1818 to 1841. Any information, no matter how small, appreciated.

My family were also farmers in and around Liphook, Bramshot, Greatham, Selborne, also Sussex - big family!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Barry Hope (3rd Oct 2008 @ 10:05:38)

Would I be right in assuming these are the same Butlers that run two farms in Selbourne and Froyle including hops?

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dawn Hoskins (3rd Oct 2008 @ 14:38:06)

I wish someone would do something about it.

It is such a blot on the landscape.

I imagine the only happy people are the scaffolding company who must be getting paid monthly to keep the structure from crash down into the A3.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Chris (3rd Oct 2008 @ 15:57:37)

It's in an even more advanced state of deriliction now and should really be knocked down and the land used for growing vegetables.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- helen (3rd Oct 2008 @ 17:42:07)

isnt it a listed building and thats why its been left for so long to look derilect?!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Paul Robinson (4th Oct 2008 @ 09:01:13)

Years ago I was told that the large black shed at the rear of the building was used as a practice room for a local group that went on to do rather well. Perhaps fans of Fleetwood Mac might like to campaign for a blue plaque while there is still a wall to hang it on.

Paul Robinson

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dawn Hoskins (4th Oct 2008 @ 12:11:29)

Maybe the past members of Fleetwood Mac could be pursuaded to restore it - to give other 'up and coming' bands a place to practice??

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Richard Browne (21st Oct 2008 @ 11:36:58)

any one know why it closed and is it listed

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dawn Hoskins (21st Oct 2008 @ 12:18:57)

I think you would need to go to Penns Place to find out if it was listed (to look at the old maps and plans etc.)


Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Paul Robinson (21st Oct 2008 @ 15:58:55)

The reason it closed is a rather tragic story. The pub itself was given an extensive makeover and shortly after it reopened there was an altercation between two customers and when the owner stepped in to settle the problem he had a heart attack.

It was closed after that and I don't think it ever opened again.

Paul Robinson

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dawn Hoskins (24th Oct 2008 @ 09:12:48)

I just located this on EHDC planning portal. Nothing about it being listed though?

[editor - this is the text ...


The Spaniard Inn, Portsmouth Road, Bramshott Chase, Hindhead, GU266DE


Decision: REFUSAL ]

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dawn Hoskins (24th Oct 2008 @ 11:16:55)

if you click on each application you can see the full text. Interestingly, point 6 on the reasons for refusal states: ........."It is considered that the A3 Hindhead Improvement proposals for this site offer the best environmental solution in that the balance of the site would be landscaped and returned to a condition that is best appropriate for its rural location"

So, we can assume it is going to be demolished, lanscaped and returned to the most 'appropriate' condition. I wonder what that means and who will be footing the bill?

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Niall G (28th Oct 2008 @ 17:04:31)

Interestingly enough this was a favourite topic of conversation at the A3 tunnel exhibition on Friday/ Saturday.

I understand (without wishing to be prejudicial) that a rather large sum of money was requested, and rejected, for the Spaniard site, which is why it hasn't been included, so far, in the A3 works.

The Highways Agency representative did mention though that a 'survey of adjacent buildings/sites (?)' such as this was forthcoming and that if they found any cause for concern (!) the HA could refer the matter to the Council for resolution.

So I suppose the story goes on...


Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Allen Butler (6th Nov 2008 @ 21:06:33)

Barry - I think that you may be thinking of Hartley Park Farm in Selborne and West End Farm Froyle (Upper). I forgot to say that my farming family was farming in the area from 1750 to about 1880 or there abouts, ( I am doing my family history). The Hartley Park Farm Butlers hail from Oxfordshire so I am assuming that there is no connection, but West End Farm Butlers will not reply to my emails but thats fair enough if they want to remain private!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Allen Butler (6th Nov 2008 @ 21:26:25)

Thanks for the info and chat.
I recall that a Mrs Oliphant, the Victorian novelist, based "Greyshott Manor", in 'Cuckoo in the Nest' on Downlands - much of the action taking place in the 16th century Seven Thorns Inn.
I also thought there was a connection with a highwayman and the Inn - (a 'Captain Jack'?), also there was someting about 'body snatching' - bodies being kept in the cellars?
A connection to Fleetwood Mac surely requires some sort of recognition!!!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Tami Emerson (26th Apr 2010 @ 00:24:00)

Any chance that one of you knows if the Carter Family owned this at one time? I am told they did, Carter is a big name for coachmen in that area. Would love any ifo! Cheers from Canada

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Claire (30th Apr 2010 @ 22:39:56)

The reason it closed is because it caught on fire in the late 80's or early 90's and it has stayed like that ever since, perhaps they weren't insured hence never repairing it. I have no idea whether it is listed, it used to have a disco every sunday night thats all i know. But surely it is dangerous, so listed or not something should be done about it...

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Jackie Thompson (2nd May 2010 @ 21:20:42)

The Spaniard was still open in 1988, we used to go 'clubbing' there regularly. There were various rumours about it at that time. There was then a fire and it was never rebuilt.

Fleetwood Mac also owned a large house in Headley in the late 60's early 70's.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Jan J (3rd May 2010 @ 09:42:49)

My late husband and i used to go to The Spaniard, when we were first courting back in the early 1970s, it would be for special do's, such as birthdays, you would be able to get a great meal there.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Jon (16th Jun 2010 @ 09:57:02)

I lived in the Spaniard Inn in the sixties when I was a small boy I can remember large coach parties turning up and there was a big cafeteria on the side of the bar. The barn that was at the back was one of my play areas along with the chickens and rabbits.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- P Weyland (17th Jun 2010 @ 09:05:21)

I recall Fleetwood Macs house being called 'Benniefolds' or something like that. I think it was owned by their manager and the band would often be there as it either had a recording studio or they used the one at Headley Grange (also famous for being where Led Zeppelin recorded 'Stairway To Heaven' and many others.

Aha also recorded there in their hey-day and remember Morten Harkett walking in (what was) Circle K shop, much to the delight of the young ladies.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- suzanne titcomb (17th Jun 2010 @ 09:52:44)

used to work as a barmaid in this lovely pub known as the Spaniard sorry to hear it it is in ruins

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Hilary (17th Jun 2010 @ 10:54:52)

I met my husband in The Spaniard (!), I was also working in Circle K when Morten Harkett came in and remember very well the 'delight' of the young ladies!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Karen F (17th Jun 2010 @ 12:56:47)

Afraid to say I am old enough to remember dancing the night away at The Spaniard (obviously I was ever so slightly under age!)

Also Morten came to Barons when I worked there and I had to squeeze past him in the doorway - it was awful!!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Deadly (22nd Jun 2010 @ 11:02:20)

I seem to remember that's what Morten said!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Phil Mussell (6th Jul 2010 @ 23:14:09)

Fleetwood Mac lived in Benifold until about 1979/80 - my father and I actually helped clear the house after I'd gone there on "bob a job" with the scouts and been told that there was a lot to do. James and Sally Borthwick moved in in about 1981 and my parents were frineds of theirs for a while...!

As for the Spaniard I used to work at the Woodcock in Beacon Hill in 1986-89 and remember people leaving there to go up the A3 "clubbing"

Those were the days...!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian plummer (5th Mar 2011 @ 20:51:28)

I worked at the seven thorns from 1956 -1959 i managed the buffet selling sandwiches and tea &coffee mainly to coach loads that booked in on there way to portsmouth or london .we also had the army , navy and air force chaps and girls in at the weekends mainly lots of drunken brawls ,oh the good old days ,,does anyone else remember those years would love to hear from anyone who does

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Graham Maynard (19th Sep 2011 @ 12:31:13)

I pass this place every time I go up the A3 usually off to see Charlton Athletic at home. I remember about 15 years ago it re-opened as 'The Venue'. You can still see the name on the side of the building. There were adverts on ITV for a few months and then it all stopped and it closed again. Last time I passed it there were trees growing out of it and it can only be a matter of time before it collapses now. One thing that amused me was someone graffiti'd it a few years back with 'Open For Business as Usual'.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian plummer (19th Sep 2011 @ 14:17:57)

is there not anyone who remembers it back in the 1950 s when mr. & mrs. Dennis owned it and Helmith the polish bar man was there

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Simon Crook (24th Nov 2011 @ 00:09:35)

Any plans to renovate it? Read somewhere it was Hilaire Belloc's favourite pub (along with The Greyhound in Carshalton). Its ruinous state reminds me of the sadly gone Lunways Inn, off the A33 north of Winchester, which also catered for coach parties... then the M3 was extended.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- jenny Croucher (26th Nov 2011 @ 14:10:02)

I am sure I was told that Michael Caine bought it at the end of the 70s and was going to turn it into a restaurant/Club - or did he own it when it burned down?

Potentially it is quite a valuable building site; the last application was for it to turn into a Travel Lodge type of business. That was quite a few years ago. There have been previous applications for houses, hotel, etc. but turned down as it was seen to be development in the countryside.

I can remember it being a very smart pub/restaurant some years ago.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- John (28th Dec 2011 @ 15:37:28)

I lived there as a very young boy in the sixties when the pub was owned by Mr &Mrs Dennis they eventually retired to Brighton. Helmuth the Asst manager took over for awhile and he eventually left to run a pub in East Molesey. I loved living there and used to play in the barn at the back and the downs opposite were all mine. Sad to see it in such a state.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian (28th Dec 2011 @ 19:35:16)

how nice to know someone remembers it back then you must have moved in after i left ,did you ever visit there in the 50s ? i lived there for 3 years running the buffet for the Dennises and also working in the bar with Helmuth

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- John (29th Dec 2011 @ 12:59:33)


We moved there around 1961/2 when I was about 4/5 and stayed until about 1968.I can remember the big snow in around 63? and the remnants of the military base next door. I went to kiddy school in Liphook.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian (29th Dec 2011 @ 15:25:57)

was it still a pub/buffet /b &b when you were there did you meet Margorie and Richard Dennises family we all lived together there Margories mother lived in Brighton(mrs Oldfield) one sister lived in Haslemere and one was in Canada did your parents work for them is that how you came to live there? Hope you dont think i am being to nosey but it is so nice to find someone who remembers those days i was very happy living there
regards Marian

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Philippa (20th Oct 2012 @ 23:17:56)

I used to live up the road at Colby Dene from 1961 to 1980. My mum used to work at the 7 Thorns/Spaniard and I remember going down with. I remember Helmert and playing out the back with some other children. She also worked at the Staging Post just down the road where the garage was. I live in Derbyshire now and havent been down there for a long time

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian (21st Oct 2012 @ 17:05:32)

Hi Philippa, Nice to hear of someone who remembers the old place , you arrived a bit after my time think you would be shocked if you visited now its just an eyesore

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- John de Lange (25th Dec 2012 @ 19:04:43)

I did my National Service in Liphook. There was a Military Hospital and at the QA Depot just down the road, and we used to go there. It was very popular with the military on account of the large number of nurses.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian (26th Dec 2012 @ 11:47:01)

Hi , what year were you in Liphook maybe i served you your beer at the seven thorns

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- T Fleming (2nd Feb 2013 @ 23:57:26)

I was stationed in Bordon ( REME) from June(?)- 1961 to November 1962. The best place for a dance was the Seven Thorns, by far. I came from Liverpool which was the centre of the world, at the time, but for a good night out this pub/ dancehall was by far the best place to be at a weekend, even if it meant walking/ running home to camp in Bordon ,about 7 1/2 miles I think, afterwards.

For the younger readers we were all in suits or casual wear and all wore ties, the ladies were all beautiful as I remember and a credit to the area. The Jive was the "IN" dance and the Beatles weren't on the scene yet. Many a romance stated here.

Finding this site brought back only good memories. now I know why I couldn't find this pub on the computer due to the many times it's changed hands and its apparent demise. The area has changed beyond recognition. Thank you Hindhead All this on £4 4 shillings ( proper money).

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Ray Churcher (10th Nov 2013 @ 20:27:07)

Can anyone tell me if the Seven Thorns/The Spaniard is/was haunted?

I was there a couple of days ago and took some pictures but one was very interesting to which I cannot explain.


Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian (11th Nov 2013 @ 09:35:18)

Hello Ray,
I lived and worked at the Seven Thorns in the 1950s and never experienced anything unusual but who knows
regards Marian

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Richard McNelly (Toronto) (6th Dec 2013 @ 04:48:46)

My family owned / ran The Spaniard Inn from early 1970 til app 1975. The previous owner renamed it from 7 Thorns to The Spaniard. We had 6 bedrooms, Lounge Bar & Restaurant for 24. The Inn was mainly run by my brother Mike and his wife Bridget. Our dogs (Dalmatian & Springer) loved their walks to Waggoners Wells across the road. I recollect some regulars .... Scudder and Wilkin families. Good memories !

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Ian (6th Dec 2013 @ 14:26:22)

Interesting to read some snapshots of its history, but does anyone out there know what is happening with this (now) unfortunate and potentially dangerous eyesore?
It's hardly a welcoming sight or picturesque portal into Hampshire for those entering from the Surrey stretch of the A3; really quite embarrassing I would have thought from a County/District/Parish Council perspective?

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Nigel (27th Dec 2013 @ 13:49:50)

Apparently the owner went bankrupt in March 1992 and the place has not been used since.

I read somewhere that the place was notorious for brawls, and when it re-opened in the '90's after a re-fit, the owner stepped in to stop a fight on opening night and had a heart attack and didn't open again. Maybe he died and it was his wife who went bankrupt.

The Parish Council, in 2009, approved a request by the owners(?) Norfolk Property Holdings for a Lawful Development Certificate. Basically (as I understand it) this means that the owners can apply to develop another venue on that site, while the existing building still remains and stand fair chance of winning. If the building were demolished before application it might certainly never be granted and a venue licence could not be obtained for it to re-open. The P.C. thought in approving this request that the site was still an ideal location for a night club, with no neighbouring residential properties.

Does anyone know why the Highways Agency haven't made a compulsory purchase with the new A3 work? It's no longer a location where passing traffic would stop, as it was before the tunnel were built.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Simon hawkes (6th Apr 2015 @ 17:38:12)

Just found this thread while trying to find out if it was listed apparently not which is a shame as it's up for sale again for 1000000 and will no doubt be demolished now

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- S (6th Apr 2015 @ 20:06:25)

£1 million?!

If that is true and it sells, then I think we can guarantee it will be knocked down and developed.... Can't see anyone paying that money for a do-er up-er!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Gemma (1st May 2015 @ 00:00:29)

Is the place advertised online somewhere? I went past it on the way to Portsmouth and couldn't catch the name of the agent its with?

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Kat B (1st May 2015 @ 10:10:34)

Found the details on rightmove.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Roger Lunt (13th Aug 2015 @ 16:57:59)

During World War 1 it was at the centre of Bramshott Camp where the Canadian Army trained before going to France and Belgium.

My Grandad was there during the Winter of 1915/16. The No. 12 Canadian General Hospital was just a few hundred yards to its south-east. On the other side of the A3 was what was known as 'Tin Town' with the camps shops, theatre and cafes. To the north of this was the North Camp. To the east of this in what was called ' Happy Valley' was an open air stage. South Camp lay to the south of the Seven Thorns/Spaniard and the camp HQ was to the east along the A3 where the Little Chef was. The camps post office and church huts were immediately to the west of the pub and in front of the hospital.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- John kurshner (2nd Jan 2016 @ 07:59:48)

Just a question I've recently been in the spanyard not much left now but I had to venture in as I love abandoned buildings and paranormal I was told that in the 80s someone that was stabbed in the spanyard that's why they closed down is this true or not

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Mrs A J Loftis (2nd Jan 2016 @ 10:47:15)

I was working in Haslemere Hospital when the licensee died of a heart attack after so called fracas. I understood NatWest bank financed the mortgage to the licencee they might know the owner of the property.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Thomas (15th Jan 2016 @ 15:40:03)

There is now a SOLD sign on the Spaniard site.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dave McGrath (15th Jan 2016 @ 17:42:51)

good perhaps that\\\'s the end of this boring thread then!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- A . ryan (15th Jan 2016 @ 20:43:49)

So Dave why is it boring , did you buy it? Those of us that used it years ago might be interested as to who purchased it. Was it the wanna be dirt track riders, or another big housing development, or maybe another motel, hotel, cum bar, nightclub, cafe , coffee shop, children's play area ,or travellers site . So not interested ?

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- h (15th Jan 2016 @ 23:44:57)

The site was on sale for a million pounds realistically only a property investment company could afford that sort of money.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Dave (16th Jan 2016 @ 11:18:43)

no a. Ryan I'm not really interested, if someone's got that sort of money to buy it then good luck to them. Maybe that eyesore at the moment will dissapear hurrah!

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Andrew (29th Oct 2016 @ 14:34:06)

Yes the spaniard is haunted when I worked there I said it is and I was told to shut my mouth by the manager

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- dave heath (30th Oct 2016 @ 07:35:30)

its going to be the new bmw dealer

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- marian (30th Oct 2016 @ 09:15:34)

Hi Andrew Thats rubbish i lived there in the 1950s nothing spooky think your manager was trying to scare you

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Andrew (8th Dec 2016 @ 00:04:25)

The spaniard has now been closed 25 years I remember it because I was going to celebrate my birthday there on 13 December it had closed a week earlier

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- Andy Mayson (11th Oct 2018 @ 17:40:18)

I was wandering around near 'The Spaniard' yesterday with my camera. It is fenced off, falling down and dangerous!

I'm pretty sure this is the building that's shown in 1920s photographs from odd details still standing. It looks mature in those pics so it must have been the building used by Canadian soldiers in both world wars.

However, the building has a steel frame which although rusty is the main reason why it hasn't fallen down altogether! The steel frame cannot be older than Victorian so this cannot be the building that was apparently there in the 1700s.

Re: 7 Thorns Inn / The Spaniard
- SteveA (5th May 2019 @ 16:47:44)

Just drove down the A3, and the faƧade has finally been demolished - end of an era.

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