Waugh Watering Hole Rescued by Villagers

The Abingdon Arms in the Oxfordshire village of Beckley has been rescued by the efforts of the villagers. They have taken ownership and, according to the Oxford Times, will soon have the pubĀ reopened for business:

The Abingdon Arms is a beautiful 17-century pub right in the heart of Beckley, with fantastic views over Otmoor, the local RSPB reserve, and has been frequented by some literary greats. Evelyn Waugh famously drowned his sorrows at the pub on hearing that heā€™d got a third in his Oxford finals and the view from the pub across the chequered fields of Otmoor inspired Lewis Carrollā€™s giant chessboard in Alice through the Looking Glass.

Waugh began to visit the pub during his undergraduate days and at one timeĀ shared with Alastair Graham the rental ofĀ a caravan Ā on the grounds of the pub. According to Martin Stannard, the pub was much more than a place for Waugh to drown his sorrows. It was the venue for aĀ nine-day honeymoon after his first marriage. He also used it as a refuge for his writing and composed portionsĀ of Rossetti, Vile BodiesĀ and Remote PeopleĀ on its premises.Ā According to the Oxford Mail, the village’s acquisition of the pub has been finalized,Ā and they are now looking for a tenant.

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