Public House of the Month


Crown Inn

Sturminster Newton, Dorset

The Crown Inn is a stunning 16th Century pub in the beautiful village of Marnhull which is in-between Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton. It is a fantastic destination in the midst of the Dorset countryside. Whether you want to relax with a drink or sample our quality dishes the Crown is perfect. 

Marnhull, Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 1LN

Tel: 01258 820224

  • Accommodation
  • Breakfast Served
  • Meeting Room
  • Free Wifi
  • Car Park
  • Disabled Access
  • Garden
  • Historic Location

Crown Inn

Posted on April 2014

Matthew and Darren have been at the Crown Inn, Marnhull for about 18 months, taking over the pub back in July 2012. They tell us more about their pub and their experiences.

Tell me about how you first started in this industry?

I started working in the pub industry 17 years ago, I started as a pot washing and then a trainee chef, infect I’ve been working in the industry all my life.


How is The Crown Inn part of its local community?

Being part of the local community is extremely important to us, we pride ourselves on our donations and fundraising for the local school, we also run a charity quiz night every month which is very popular.


What are your pubs best bits?

I think the best bit about our pub is the service we provide, we do our best to make sure every guest is happy and has a great time, we tell all our team members to treat the guests how they themselves would like to be treated.

We are also well known for being featured in Thomas Hardy’s most successful novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles as the ‘Pure Drop Inn’. This is where Tess’s father invites parson Tringham for a quart of beer: “There’s a pretty brew in tap at The Pure Drop but not so good as at Rollivers.”

We take pride in our history and have kept many of the pubs original features including a priest’s hole.


You must have a lot of funny stories about being a publican, what’s your funniest pub story?

Well, I can’t think of a funny story but I can tell you a scary story. A tall man with a dark cloak often stands at the bar waiting to be served but when you turn to serve him he disappears. Lots and guests and team members have reported seeing the pub ghost but he is yet to create a disturbance so we assume he is friendly.


What sort of food is offered at The Crown Inn and what is your signature/most popular dish?

We offer good traditional pub food, with a touch of variation-all the ingredients are locally sourced and everything is homemade. Our most popular dish is our steak, stout and mushroom pie, but we do also get a lot of compliments about our delicious curry.    


If I was to go to the bar now and buy you a badger beer which one would I get you?

I can honestly say my favourite so far is our most recent seasonal ale Holy Moley, we are hoping it makes a comeback.


What’s good to see and experience in your area after a visit to the pub?

Marnhull is such a beautiful part of the world that we recommend that all our guests go for a walk in the stunning countryside which surrounds the pub.


What are the best bits of your job?

Making someone’s day, seeing all of our hard work pay off, I can say there is no better feeling than knowing someone has had a lovely time and enjoyed our food.


What is your favourite time of year at your pub?

The Crown at Marnhull is lovely festive pub, being such an old building it looks stunning when it’s decorated for Christmas, with exposed wooden beams and an open fire it’s everything you could want from a cosy country pub.