About the White Horse

The White Horse has been Romsey’s main inn since medieval times. Its surviving timber frame is thought to date from as early as 1450 and written records confirm there was certainly an inn here in the 1500s. However, there are signs the history of the inn may stretch back even further—the medieval stone cellars indicate it may have hosted guests and visitors to Romsey Abbey as early as the 12th century.

During the 18th century, a new façade and upper floors were added. With its 35 bedrooms and stables for 50 horses, the hotel served as a coaching inn for visitors travelling to and from London and Bristol. The building has always been something of a tardis, and is much bigger than the exterior lets on. As well as the inn itself, documents from the 18th and 19th centuries listed a yard, stables, coach houses, a brewery, a tap room, granaries, a dove cote, gardens and even a piggery on the property!

By 1920 the inn was no longer under private ownership and became part of Trust Houses Ltd, a company established to preserve old country inns. In the 1970s The White Horse became part of the Forte Heritage Collection of Trust House Forte, and by the end of the century it was owned by Macdonald Hotels. In the 21st century The White Horse was acquired by the current owners, Silks Hotels. The company is dedicated to preserving the hotel’s character and honouring the centuries of history in these walls.

The White Horse Hotel, Romsey

From souvenir brochure, c. 1905

About
Romsey

Romsey is a handsome market town situated in some of England’s most beautiful countryside. The town has a long history—in fact, it started life as a Saxon village. Romsey Abbey, the largest parish church in Hampshire, can trace its origins right back to 907 AD and work started on the present stone building around 1120 AD. Romsey was once so well known for its inns and public houses, it inspired the phrase “so drunk he must have been to Romsey”, but The White Horse has the longest history of any of the town’s inns. Today, Romsey is a prosperous and friendly market town with a timeless, quintessentially English charm that keeps visitors coming back year after year.

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