The Carnarvon Arms stands on the crossroads at Fackley, a hamlet in the parish of Teversal. It was originally called the Cross Keys and became the Carnarvon Arms circa 1870. The Carnarvon connection with Teversal began when Henrietta Anne Molyneux married the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon in 1830 and brought with her the Manor of Teversal.
The Carnarvon Arms in the early years of the 20th century
The Roper family lived and worked here for much of the 19th century. In 1832 Hannah Roper was the ‘victualler’ of the Cross Keys and by 1841 her son James Roper had become the landlord. By 1876 Cleopas Roper, James’ son, had taken over the running of the public house and he continued to live there until 1900.
In 1901 the People's Refreshment House Association Ltd (PRHA) became the licensees. The PRHA was started in 1896 by the temperance movement and encouraged public houses to serve food and soft drinks and provide accommodation to travellers. To curb alcohol abuse the pubs were run by managers who were paid commission on the sales of food and soft drinks but not on alcoholic drinks. Horace White, who many still remember, was the longest serving manager from 1929 to 1951 The Carnarvon Arms in the early 20th century
The property was part of the Teversal Estate belonging to the Earl of Carnarvon and was sold in 1919 to Hardy and Hansons Kimberley brewery. Hardy and Hansons owned the property and the licensees were tenants. Greene King, the present owners, acquired the property when they bought Hardy and Hansons in 2006.
The west wing of the building, the part standing nearest the road, is late Georgian and is dated 1793 whilst the middle section is believed to be earlier, probably early to mid 18th century and here the original beams are still visible.
The south wing, which extends into the car park, is Victorian in style and was added in 1901 around the time when the PRHA became the licensees. The Welsh slate on the roof dates to the Victorian extension whilst the Georgian parts originally would probably have had pantiles
In 1936 an extensive refurbishment involving alterations and additions was started. In the west wing the smoke room was opened up and became the new bar area. The curved front entrance with an off sales bar at the centre, a lounge bar, an extension to the rear of the building and the famous Ship Room were added. The rear extesion resulted in a larger refreshment room, new living accommodation and a new kitchen.
The Ship Room has been lined with wood and built to look like the interior of an old galleon with portholes and slanting walls and with old barrels for seats. According to local legend the timbers used came from the stern of a sunken French galleon which was salvaged by Lord Carnarvon. In reality architects Warner and Dean of Sutton-in-Ashfield drew the plans for the 1936 alterations, which included the Ship Room, and the timbers came from a local builders yard!
The D H Lawrence connection with Teversal is well known and it is quite feasible that he would have visited the Carnarvon Arms. Teversal Manor was considered to be the inspiration for Wragby Hall, the home of Constance Chatterley, in ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’. The book, however, was first published in 1928 - several years before the ship room was built – so dispelling another popular myth that this was where he penned the novel.
Further alterations made in 1949 included the opening up of the west wing and the installation of toilets adjacent to the public bar.
The latest refurbishment in 2008 has brought together the west wing, south wing and curved front entrance into one interconnected space with the bar relocated to serve all areas. The dining room has also been extended with patio doors opening onto a rear patio and garden area. There is a paved patio at the front of the building with tables and benches. The Ship Room has been preserved with the only change to the layout there being the repositioning of the door leading from the south wing.
Records from the 19th century show that as well as a public house the Carnarvon Arms was also a shop. Both James and Cleopas Roper were not only publicans but joiners, blacksmiths and wheelwrights which suggests that work on carts and carriages was also carried out here. The Carnarvon Arms would have been well situated to offer these services as the toll bar (Fackley Bar) was directly opposite on the crossroads.
An inquest was held at the Carnarvon Arms following the Molyneux pit disaster in 1869 where 4 men were drowned. The coroner was a local solicitor, Mr D W Heath.
During the Second World War the Carnarvon Arms was used as an officers mess by the paratroopers who were based at Hardwick camp. Around this time there were also petrol pumps at the front of the building near the entrance.
In the past auctions and NUM meetings were held here and in recent years fishing clubs, bikers clubs and football teams have met at the Carnarvon Arms.
The Carnarvon Arms of today has had many traditional bits restored and a modern twist added to bring it into the 21st century.
The Carnarvon Arms in 2008