This pub is a much visited hostelry for Dorset visitors and locals alike.

But did you know that, despite its close associations with smugglers it used to have a much different name.

The Smugglers Inn in Osmington Mills used to be called the Picnic Inn.

This pub has a very rich history that goes back a long way.

A family heavily involved in smuggling, took over the running of the pub about 1840. First known of the family to run the pub was Ann Champ who was the landlady according to the 1841 census. By 1848 she had passed it on to her son James Champ.

At some time it changed its name to the Picnic Inn before becoming the Smugglers Inn as it is today.

Dorset Echo:

As you can see from this picture above the Picnic Inn used to have its own tea garden from which you could get a Lobster Tea.

Dorset Echo:

Apparently this special tea would be a pricey affair – a half lobster salad would cost 2/6d!

The Picnic Inn was obviously well known for its Lobster Teas as it even had its own plates with lobsters on!

Dorset Echo:

And the lobsters were as fresh as they could be – there’d be brought up to the pub by fishermen.

Dorset Echo:

The Olde Worlde bar at the Picnic Inn, Osmington Mills

There’d be two boiling vats of water to the left of the inn. The lobsters cost the equivalent of 25p in today’s money.

Here’s the Hall and Woodhouse pub as it looks today.

Dorset Echo:

To share memories like this and more, join our increasingly popular Facebook group We Grew Up in Weymouth and Portland, which you can find here

By admin