A VILLAGE pub in Herefordshire has been forced to close over the busy new year period after a fire destroyed an outbuilding.

But despite the devastation caused at The Bridge Inn in the Golden Valley village of Michaelchurch Escley, the pub has vowed it will be “back better than ever”.

After a tough two years for hospitality with the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting restrictions, the pub thanked its customers for their support.

But the fire, which broke out on Christmas Eve, caused extensive damage and the pub was “very sad” to announce it would be shut until mid-January.

It was told it could not legally open until it reinstated its electric, waste treatment system, food chiller unit, toilets and the campsite.


The pub, run by Jade and Mickey Provis, also said on Facebook: “We are very sorry to everyone who has booked in in the next two weeks but our hands are tied.”

“No one was hurt and the fire services were fantastic. We will be reopening on January 11 and will be back better than ever.

“Your support will be even more important when we reopen so we look forward to getting back to it and seeing everyone again.”

Fire crews from Peterchurch, Ewyas Harold and Eardisley were all at the scene after the emergency call was made at around 9.20pm.

Peterchurch fire station said on arrival crews were met with a well-developed fire which took two hosereel jets to knock back and extinguish.


They used water from a nearby river as they tried to get the blaze under control.

Despite the setback, the award-winning pub is trying to remain optimistic, saying on its website it had recently been busier than ever. It said Jade and Mickey were delighted to take over the day-to-day running in July 2020, months into the pandemic. While Covid was not part of the original plans, it adapted to ever-changing rules.

Glyn and Gisela Bufton, who used to run the pub in the shadow of Black Hill, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons, are now focused on Bridge Farmhouse next door, romantic yurts and making Hill Billy Gin at Black Mountains Distillery.