The Bungalow, now Test Haven, and Old Inn, The Common. A double panel

Mike Gee

Test Haven was built in the Edwardian era as a storehouse for the New Inn on the Common. It was sold and extended to become a dwelling known as the Bungalow. Pat Sheldrake and her husband recently converted the bungalow to a house and renamed the property Test Haven. Chilbolton’s only public house was originally on the common. Known as the New Inn, the property had no cellar due to its proximity to the river and the high level of the water table. Barrels of beer were stored in the cellar of Chalkdell and rolled down Joys Lane when needed. The property was sold at auction in 1926 to become a private house known as the Old Inn. The house overlooks a stunning landscape, but how difficult it must have been for customers of Chilbolton’s original inn to make their way home across the Common at night! Parish Records show that in 1836, one John Pragnell was found dead by a stile, the cause of death recorded as, “apoplexy brought on by drinking”. He was twenty-four years old.

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