Historic pub remains open despite severe flooding

By Stuart Stone contact

- Last updated on GMT

'Different level': The Muddiford Inn's landlord commented that recent flooding had been more severe than anything he'd previously witnessed
'Different level': The Muddiford Inn's landlord commented that recent flooding had been more severe than anything he'd previously witnessed

Related tags: Flood

A 16th-century North Devon pub was able to remain open over the weekend despite heavy flooding in the south-west and Wales.

Homes in Barnstaple were evacuated after heavy rainfall caused landslides, flooding and road damage across the south-west. 

The nearby Muddiford Inn, in Muddiford, was hit particularly hard by flooding after water running off nearby fields combined with overflowing, fast-running streams to flood one home in the village and threaten the historic inn. 

However, the efforts of the local community and emergency services helped keep the pub open despite the adverse elements.

Supported by the local community

Landlord Gareth Chastney commented: "We're very lucky that we managed to prevent the flood water from coming into the pub, it was only a matter of feet through the entrances.

"It is a reoccurring problem we have here, due to the water levels in the area so we have put some minor flood defences in place, which worked very well for us."

Chastney added that efforts of local emergency services and members of the community prevented more severe damage being done to the pub, and allowed them to open over the weekend.

"We had a great big group of villagers come down and the fire brigade came and helped us - without those, the pub would have flooded.

"One of the local guys came down with a tractor and dug a bank out along the front of the pub, then the fire brigade ripped down a fence which allowed the water to escape out onto the road.

“All we've got left now is a big clear-up operation around the grounds - there's a lot of debris that's been left where water has carried down off the fields. There's quite a lot of damage outside to the patio area and car park, so we'll have to assess all that over the next couple of days.

"We actually managed to open yesterday (21 January) lunchtime. We had a fully-booked restaurant so we knew we had to get open, but unfortunately we did lose quite a few bookings as other people couldn't get here because there was a landslide up the other end of the village and there's only one way in."

Flooding on a 'different level'

Chastney highlighted that the pub has learnt from the latest bout of flooding and can now take steps to ensure future damage and disruption is minimised.

"We've learnt quite a bit from this as it's on a different level to what we've experienced before. We now know what we've got to put in place if it's to happen again - obviously where the fence has been ripped down, we'll probably make the fence detachable.

“We're going to knock a couple of walls down as we know the route the water is going to take, so we can do what we can to allow it to get through in the best way possible."

The Environment Agency currently has six flood warnings in place for south-west England and 44 flood alerts. Police have said that so far there have been no casualties.

Related topics: Health & safety

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