Cosy and unique, The Dusthole is a must for all history buffs, anyone who relishes the quirky charms of olde worlde England and all those who are looking for somewhere memorable to stay. We're not just a bed and breakfast - you can also enjoy the traditional ambience of our bar, where we serve food and drink every evening. You can sample locally brewed ales and ciders or choose from our selection of wines, carefully selected from around the globe.
Formerly known as the Kings Arms, The Dusthole was originally built as the provision house for Shepton Mallet prison which, until its closure in 2013, was the oldest working prison in the UK. In the early days, inmates had to buy their own food and drink, so an enterprising governor built the provision house in order to make money out of them!
In later years the provision house became a hostelry and its name changed to the Kings Arms. It is well documented that the Duke of Monmouth and his men recruited 12 ‘Sheptonians’ as they passed through the town on their way to overthrow King James II in 1685, staying nearby in Longbridge. Reputedly, after a heavy day’s march they visited the Kings Arms (no doubt taking perverse pleasure in drinking at a hostelry of that name!) to enlist new members to their cause.
You may be wondering why the Kings Arms became known as The Dusthole. In the 1900s the main industries in the town were based around the local stone quarries. Workers would often call in for a drink or two on their way home, dusty from the stone they’d been working with all day, and leaving evidence of their visit as they brushed themselves off while chatting and enjoying their pint. Hence, the Kings Arms became known locally as The Dusthole.
We’re lucky enough to have been visited by many celebrity guests over the years. Marco Pierre White (Chef, Hell’s Kitchen) enjoyed a cuppa, Sunday roast and a good old chat with Tony!
Julian Fellowes (actor and writer) left his mark on one of our ceilings! Chris Kelly (BBC Food & Drink) is a local resident, likes to pop in for a pint. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (River Cottage) has been known to enjoy a sandwich or two. Adam Henson (Countryfile presenter) took a liking to our ales. Even King George V is reputed to have stayed here!
Come and chat with Tony in the bar one evening and see what stories he has to tell. He's very fond of the old place and knows all its secrets!