The Bull Inn
is an historic public house
– now also a restaurant
– in the High Street in centre of the village of Sonning
Traditionally, it was owned by the Bishop of Salisbury, whose palace once stood nearby. The present 16th century building, it is suggested, was a hospitium for pilgrims visiting the relics of the mysterious St. Sarik at the adjoining parish church of St Andrew. The name stems from bulls which supported the coat of arms of Sir Henry Neville. He was steward at the palace after it was sold to Queen Elizabeth I.
The inn was featured in Jerome K. Jerome's book Three Men in a Boat:
- If you stop at Sonning, put up at the "Bull," behind the church. It is a veritable picture of an old country inn, with green, square courtyard in front, where, on seats beneath the trees, the old men group of an evening to drink their ale and gossip over village politics; with low, quaint rooms and latticed windows, and awkward stairs and winding passages.
The Bull is currently an 'accommodating inn' owned by the Hampshire brewers, George Gale & Co Ltd. Opposite is the well-hidden Lutyens-designed house "Deanery Garden".