The building was originally built as an inn in 1282 and later became dual purpose as an inn and a farm making use of the 20 acres at the rear. In the 17th century it was called the Golden Fleece. Plymouth Breweries later renamed it the New Inn to give it a more contemporary image.
Rita and Buster Jones moved to Sourton on Michaelmas Day 1959 from South Wales. It was Rita who christened the inn ‘The Highwayman’ because she had romantic notions of highwaymen dashing about in the mist on the moor. (In fact there were three highwaymen who worked the area at various times, Fowley, Huggins and Creber.)
Buster setwork immediately on the inn; with only £1,000 net turnover a year and a bararea of only 9ft by 13ft there was plenty of room for improvement. Locals thought he was completely mad in those days, now they bring their friends from further afield to see the inn which has become one of the areas most popular attractions.
Such ‘improvements’ included the setting of the old Launceston to Tavistock coach as the entrance porch. The coach is in it’s original colour of maroon/purple.
Not how the original apex roof became a dome above the coach, later to be replaced, once again, with an apex roof and the addition of two small seating areas either side of the coach.
Note, for example, how the original apex roof became a dome above the coach, later to be replaced, once again, with an apex roof and the addition of two small seating areas either side of the coach.
Using natural wood and stone from the area and a great deal of imagination and hard work the building soon took on a unique character of its own. Sally has worked in the inn since a child and, at one time she, her mother and grandmother worked behind the bar together; her grandfather was responsible for the upholstery work in The Locker bar.
In 1998 Sally and her husband Bruce took over running the inn so that Sally’s Father and Mother could enjoy a long, well-earned retirement. They continue running the Highwayman in the same family tradition, with the commitment set by Buster and Rita.