A Brief History of the George & Dragon Inn, Garrigill
The property now known as the George & Dragon Inn was built in circa 1611. It was initially utilised as a dwelling prior to becoming a Public House in the early 1800s. During this time the population of Garrigill was far greater than the approx. 300 of today because of significant local lead and silver mining, and was estimated at between 1,000-1,200 people in the decades up to 1880.
The present owners of the George and Dragon Inn are all residents of Garrigill and comprise:
- Geoff Carrick: A local farmer whose family have been farming in Garrigill for 3 generations
- Richard Hymers: A local property developer whose family have ties to Garrigill also, for numerous generations in over 2 centuries.
- Tom Holmes: A resident of Garrigill since 2007. He first came to the area in 2001 whilst working on contracts for one of the local water companies.
The premises were purchased in September 2019 from a company based in London. Initially, progress was made on removing asbestos that had been historically used in the premises for fire doors and the lining of the cellar walls. The pub and all upstairs rooms were gutted with all debris being removed in late 2019 prior to the asbestos removal in early 2020. This allowed for safe access by all parties so surveys and the architectural design could be carried out.
The trio have all been regular users of the George & Dragon over the years and as a result recognize the importance of a thriving pub as a community hub to the village. They also realised that for the pub to thrive and become sustainable, it needed to have more than wet sales so the B&B side of the pub needed to be re-instated with a fully equipped and enlarged and modernised kitchen and cellar. With this in mind a company was set up in October 2019 (George & Dragon Inn Ltd) with plans put in place for a comprehensive refurbishment of the premises. A local architect firm (Chris Reed @ Architectural Design and Planning Ltd) was contracted to produce the design that would make the Hostelry a sustainable business for generations to come.
With much back and forth between the architect and the owners as to the final design (thanks Chris – who has the patience of a Saint by the way), planning was finally granted in August 2020. Due to the extent of the refurbishment and subsequent changes to be made it was decided to apply for a Rural Development Agency Grant to assist with the costs in the renovations. The final acceptance and therefore go ahead for the project was gratefully received in June 2021.
The renovation work commenced in October 2021 and the target for completion is before Easter 2023.
You can track the progress of the building works here.