‘Village with Royal connections still has plenty of vitality’

November 1, 2016


FOOD FOCUSED: The Cranborne Inn, originally the Fleur de Lys Inn, has a menu that sources produce within a 30-mile radius of the pub and boasts very comfortable accommodation for those needing to stay overnight.



EMERGENCY SERVICE: Cranborne Fire Station is part of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue and is also a co-responder station.



A LA CARTE MENU: The La Fosse restaurant’s menu has gripped the attention of my companion Dave in Cranborne.


MULTI-FACETED: Cranborne Garden Centre has a thriving garden centre, a well-stocked gift shop and a community café that provides breakfast, tea and coffee for the villagers and visitors alike.


DORSET’S OWN: Cranborne Stores sources artisan breads from the Orchard Bay Bakery; local meat from the Stone family; fresh and packaged produce; a selection of cheeses including some from Chalke Valley Cheese and various biscuits, oils, marinades, biscuits, preserves, home-made pies, Scotch eggs and a range of cold meats.


ROYAL PAST: The village is recorded in the 1086 Domesday Book as ‘Creneburne’. It had Royal connections as it served as a hunting lodge for visiting Kings.


HOME COMFORTS: The Sheaf of Arrows boasts comfortable accommodation, a roaring log fire (appropriate for this time of year), a snooker table and a darts board.


LITERAL RARITY: The WRV charity Bookshop in Cranborne. Does anyone know of another book shop based in a village?


CRANBORNE is a village that many readers will be aware of but how many of you know it has a fire station, book shop, a restaurant and a GP surgery?

It was almost three and a half years since my last visit there and this is recorded on this website from February 2016. The article posted then shared the joys of visiting both Cranborne and Wimborne St Giles, but concentrates more on the work of the Cranborne Estate.

The village of red brick and cob houses lies on the River Crane and is also known as “Chaseborough” in the novels of local legend Thomas Hardy.

Poet Rupert Brooke stayed at the Fleur de Lys and wrote a poem in its honour. The village dates back to the Middle Ages when King John was a regular visitor to the Cranborne Chase for hunting trips and a garrison was stationed in the village to ensure the King was protected from any harm.

The village was recorded as ‘Creneburne’ in the Domesday Book of 1086 and with its royal connections of the time, it was a market town but centuries down the line, its power and importance receded as more accessible towns over took it in size.

The La Fosse Restaurant in the Square was featured in the 2013 Good Food Guide and uses local produce such as Cranborne eggs, Fossil Farm chorizo sausage, Dorset Down chargrilled mushrooms and Dorset Blue Vinney cheese – which is featured in a previous post on this site from the Sturminster Cheese Show. It has been reviewed in The Guardian.

The Cranborne Inn has a ’30-mile’ locally sourced menu and had the accolade of Dorset Inn of the Year in 2013 and was a finalist of last year’s Taste of Dorset Awards.

They also offer bed and breakfast accommodation and have been listed as one of the top 10 dog-friendly pubs in the country.

The Cranborne is loyal to the local beer industry and they serve the cask and bottled beer and a Guest Ale by the Hall and Woodhouse brewery, that is only nine miles away from them.

Cranborne’s other pub is the Sheaf of Arrows. It is open seven days a week, also has overnight accommodation and serves many “lite bite” snacks and local beers.

Cranborne Fire Station is part of Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue. Its firefighting team have other jobs and commitments but give their time during the week and respond to emergencies like conventional units.

The fire station is also a co-responder station and this means the unit has the ability to support the ambulance service by attending medical emergencies ahead of a paramedic arriving.

Cranborne Garden Centre has three strings to its bow consisting of its garden centre that is currently pushing its autumn and winter bedding plants, a gift shop and its community hub of of a café that offers breakfast, coffees and teas.

All the food at the café is freshly prepared and is locally sourced. Their seasonal vegetables are grown in the kitchen garden and they can now sell wine, ales and local ciders.

The garden centre was formally the walled kitchen garden of Cranborne Manor and now is a bustling community venue that hosts a number of talks and workshops in their Garden Room. It is open seven days a week, 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sundays.

  • FOR anyone wanting to find out more about accommodation at the pubs or restaurant, or products at the garden centre, please click on the links to find out more.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: