About The Boot…
The Boot, is a 17th Century Coaching Inn, in the historic village of Repton, Derbyshire.
The Boot, has just been renovated and refurbished, to a very high standard, and now offers luxurious accommodation, award winning classic and contemporary dishes and real ales including Boot Beer – which is brewed in The Boot’s own micro-brewery.
Whatever your reason for visiting Repton and the surrounding area, The Boot has something special to offer. Your stay will comfortable, relaxing and most definitely memorable and we are confident you are sure to want to return time and time again.
The Boot is the closest accommodation to the famous Repton School and is a perfect location for parents or students visiting the school. It is also ideally located for Foremark and St. Wystan’s School, Donnington Park, East Midlands Airport and for touring some of the beautiful areas of South Derbyshire and the old Mercia.
The Boot offers a superb selection of classic and contemporary dishes, freshly prepared from fresh local ingredients. All our dishes, are the creation of Head Chef, Rob Taylor, who came to The Boot from our sister business, Harpur’s of Melbourne. Tastes and flavours are the driving force to creating a menu that suits every palate with worldwide influenced dishes and our great British classics.
The relaxed dining experience is complimented by a great selection of real ales, including our own Boot Beer, made in our micro-brewery, by Master Brewers Alan Shepherd and Steve Topliss, and a superb selection of wines and a healthy collection of the finest gins and other spirits.
At The Boot we certainly celebrate good food and our regular gourmet nights and food themed evenings give our customers the opportunity to try lots of different tastes and flavours from all over the world.
Please ensure you book, especially at weekends.
All of our rooms have been tastefully furnished to offer luxurious accommodation with your comfort in mind. We want your stay to be as relaxing and enjoyable as possible – with everything you need for your stay. Then, after a good night’s sleep, we offer you a good hearty breakfast, to help start your day the right way.
Every room has its own character and we offer a variety of doubles, twins and The Mercia Suite, which has accommodation for up to 4 people.
You can book online or phone directly 01283 346047
Check in is from 3.00pm and checkout is by 10.00am.
Breakfast is served from 7.00am Monday to Friday and from 8.00am at Weekends.
All rooms have FREE Wifi and Tea/Coffee making facilities
History of The Boot
The Boot Inn is located ‘down the hill’ from the village square, where Boot Hill meets Brook End. Across the other side of Brook End is the Grade I-listed ancient wall of Repton Priory. Repton Brook is at the bottom of the hill; this being the site of the old water mill. It is claimed (believed) that the original Boot Inn was demolished around 1769 and a malthouse erected on the site, part of which forms the Boot Inn that has survived into the 21st century.
The pub has played an important role in the history of Repton. Today, one can see the adjacent Court House, a building erected during the Edwardian period. Prior to this, legal proceedings and sessions took place inside the Boot Inn. The pub was also favoured by the local gentry and many special occasions were held there. An early reference to the house is an advertisement published in 1802 in which timber was to be auctioned at the inn. Between seven and eight hundred oak trees, growing in Repton Shrubs, were to be sold. Many of these, the advert claimed, were “fit for the navy” so must have been of considerable size and antiquity. The Somers family were in charge of the Boot Inn during this period. Richard Somers was, both a maltster and victualler. By the early 1840’s William Somers was the licensee. He was recorded as a bootmaker and innkeeper. It is probable that an earlier publican was also a boot manufacturer – hence the name of the building. However, it may simply commemorate the fact that Repton once had a thriving shoemaking industry. The son of William and Mary Somers, William was born in Repton in 1801. He married a Milton-born woman called Phoebe [Phebe] Brown in 1827 and the couple kept the Boot Inn whilst living on the premises with their six children.
An auction for a Repton grocery shop was held at the Boot Inn on November 14th 1842. Interestingly, the stock and fixtures included brewing vessels, mash tub, coolers and barrels of various sizes so it would appear that this was also an outlet for ale in addition to provisions and general groceries.
Towards the end of 1853 William Collier was jailed for setting snares on the land of publican William Somers. This was probably Milton Close, a piece of pasture land that was used by the licensee of the Boot Inn. However, he was a tenant rather than a freeholder so was probably dismayed to see the Boot Inn and its various outbuildings and pieces of land put up for auction in March 1858. The advertisement for the sale described the pub as a “substantially built, commodious, and well-accustomed inn, called the Boot Inn, situate in Repton, with the capital cellarage, good stabling, and extensive and convenient outbuildings and yard, thereto belonging; together with the spacious and convenient two-story malthouse, and the kilns, cistern, grinding house, and pump, belonging thereto and adjoining to the said inn and premises; all which said premises are in the occupation of Mr William Somers, and comprise an area of 943 square yards of land or thereabouts.” It would seem that the auction was unsuccessful and the house was therefore to be sold by private contract. The notice stated that the property “is now, and has been for many years past, in the occupation of Mr William Somers, a most respectable tenant, who is under notice to quit in case a purchaser should require early possession.”
When the pub was sold William and Phoebe Somers moved a short distance to a house in Brook End. He was succeeded at the Boot Inn by Richard Roberts but whether he was the owner and licensee is not clear. In the 1861 census the 36 year-old was recorded as an innkeeper and cordwainer so the tradition of shoemaking was kept alive at the Boot Inn. Indeed, he was employing two men who lodged at the pub whilst working as cordwainers. Richard Roberts kept the pub with his wife Frances. The couple carried on where the Somers family left off and hosted a wide range of events and societies. The building maintained a lodge room for meetings. Frances Roberts died, aged 50, on January 20th 1869. The publican re-married to Mary Foster who hailed from Ripley. He was a widower again when she also died in June 1880. The couple did have four children during the 1870’s. Another notable auction held at the Boot Inn during 1877 was for the nearby Mount Pleasant Inn and brewery.
Richard Roberts found himself in a spot of trouble in 1892 when, following an inspection by the Rural Sanitary Authority, it was reported that “a well-founded complaint had been made of a foul cellar at the Boot Inn, Repton, caused by the backing-up of sewage. The inspector had called attention to this last year but nothing had yet been done to improve the public drainage.” This was at a time when outbreaks of typhoid fever was affecting parts of Derbyshire, particularly at Castle Gresley so Richard Roberts would have had some explaining to do. By this time the pub was being operated by Salt’s brewery in Burton-on-Trent. They were acquired by Bass, Ratcliff & Gretton empire in 1927; the legacy of this takeover can be seen in this photograph.
By the turn of the century Thomas and Annie Sears were running the Boot Inn. Born in Clay Cross around 1869, Thomas was the son of a shoe manufacturer. His wife Annie hailed from Mansfield in Nottinghamshire. Thomas Sears was still the licensee in charge during the early reign of King George V. In a guide to Derbyshire’s pubs, John Merrill wrote that “the landlord between 1938-1943 was a Mr Pearson who committed suicide by gassing himself in the kitchen” of the Boot Inn.
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