Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Ye Olde Punche Bowle.

A day of work and some play.
A hot day. It's not the heat that I mind......I love the heat. But I don't like the heavy oppressive air.
This morning Bill cut the grass again....yes, he had fixed the mower. I am not sure that anything was actually wrong with it!
I tidied up a bit and then made sure that the back bedroom is ready for our grand daughter who arrives next week.
I have bought some interesting drapes that now hang over all our odds and ends - books and maps and things.
It was tiring work for both of us.
Did we doze after a cup of tea?
Certainly time passed and it was nearly half past two when we thought about lunch.
I think we had already planned a mini trip out.
I had looked up a town centre pub that has completely slipped through our net of experiences...Ye Olde Punch Bowle.
The menu seemed very reasonable - and not expensive. No more expensive than Wetherspoons.
I also noticed that I could register with this pub and then print off a voucher for free drinks with a main meal.
The die was cast - we were going out to lunch.
And that's it - The Jubilee Oak (Wetherspoons) has been ousted from its top of the pops spot for Crawley pubs.
It is a lovely building with a long history.
It was built at the beginning of the 15th century - the core is 600 years old.
It was a farm for most of its life.

We see that over 100 years ago it was referred to as old houses.
Later it was converted into one house.
In 1929 a new owner changed the use from residential to commercial and a tea room with a rural ambience was established.
Interestingly the big old chimney on the end of the building is a later addition.
It is not there in the picture above.

I always assumed that a chimney like this was a sure sign of a medieval past.
This chimney was added in 1930.

I remember the Punch Bowl being there in my childhood. But I never went there - luncheons and teas in cafes were beyond the means of my family.
I would have assumed that it had been a cafe for much of my childhood.
But in 1952 (when I was 8), the building was sold to The National Provinical Bank for £2,500.
This became the National Westminster Bank in the 1960s.

In 1996, the brewers Greene King bought the building and turned it back into The Punch Bowl.
The original core of the building remains.
Extensions have been built in keeping with the original architecture.
The original farmhouse rooms remain as little snug bars - with deep sofas.

We declined and after dinner coffee......went to B's sister's instead.
And - guess what! We have arranged to meet them at The Punch Bowl next Tuesday lunchtime.
She has never been there either - except when it was the bank.
I can't understand how we missed out on this pub.