Restoration Intern New Life At New Inn

24 July 2015

In 2012 New Inn was opened as the National Trust’s new visitor centre, cafe and shop. Now you can follow in the footsteps of the eighteenth- century visitor, who would have entered the estate through New Inn, probably staying there overnight.  The coaching inn was England’s first tourist hotel, accommodating Stowe’s guests since 1717. In the 1850s custom declined and the inn was closed. The buildings served as a farm, which it remained until 2004. But most buildings were derelict and unkempt. In 2004 the inn looked like the above photograph.  Then in 2005, the National Trust bought the site, and set to work restoring it in September 2009.
Huge archaeological excavations were undertaken to understand where and when outbuildings had once stood. The Trust was determined to restore it with care, creating a magical experience for modern tourists who now receive the estate’s original welcome. Buildings were reconstructed on the sites where existing foundations were found and the Parlour Rooms have been brought to life with Georgian furnishings.
We hope that the food served at the National Trust cafe satisfies its guests more than New Inn ever did, for historical records don’t reflect favourably. It certainly wouldn’t have fared well on Trip Advisor:

Or Inn was a scurvy one and had not beds for all. Those of us who went to bed could not sleep for fleas and gnats.
-Viscount Perceval, August 1724