Who remembers The Smith’s Arms at Godmanstone? Was it England’s smallest inn?

Do you remember when Dorset claimed to have the smallest pub in England? That was the boast of the Smith’s Arms at Godmanstone. The claim was disputed by other drinking establishments.

I never got around to drinking in the Smith’s Arms before it permanently closed its doors. I have, however, passed by the diminutive building on a good few occasions.

The Smith’s Arms was situated beside the A352 north of Dorchester. the small village of Godmanstone lying between Charminster and Cerne Abbas.

I was reminded of this bit of Dorset history by the postcard pictured here. The reverse has the following potted history. I have no idea if the Charles II claim is accurate or merely local folklore.

This Inn is the smallest public house in England and was originally a blacksmith’s shop. King Charles II. stopped here to have his horse shod but when he asked for a drink the blacksmith replied, “I have no licence, sire”, so there and then he was granted one. The building dates from the 15th century.

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1 Comment

  1. My boss was a regular drinker in the Smiths Arms and I have also been in there a few times. I think there was always a doubt whether it was the smallest pub in England, a yorkshire pub I think claimed to be smaller.

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