The George is a beautiful 18th Century pub set on the banks of the River Avon on the edge of the New Forest National Park in the charming former market town of Fordingbridge.
The town of Fordingbridge takes its name from "The Great Bridge" which adjoins The George. The Bridge is a magnificent structure with seven medieval arches, and is Grade II listed. There has been a bridge on the site since at least 1086, with the medieval arches constructed in 1385.
The George is Fordingbridge's oldest surviving inn, having been situated on this prime riverside site since at least 1593, possibly even earlier. At that time the inn was known as "Le George", believed to be a reference to the legend of St George and the Dragon. The pub has also been known as "The Great George", probably taking the "Great" from the neighbouring bridge. In the 18th century it became "The George", apparently a reference to King George III.
In 1794 the notorious smuggler Captain Diamond was on his way to Salisbury laden with an
illegal hoard of tea, rum and coffee smuggled from Guernsey. On reaching Fordingbridge Captain
Diamond and his gang gathered in the yard of The George Inn and used wool scales to divide the
booty of tea, each smuggler getting about a hundredweight. customs men and soldiers then arrived
on the scene and a bloody battle ensued........
- from The History of Fordingbridge by Anthony Light and Gerald Ponting.
We like to think that Captain Diamond was once a local, enjoying an Ale in the bar......