Nestling quietly in the pretty North Nottinghamshire countryside, the attractively named Maplebeck is a community of approximately eighty people. It’s nearest conurbations are Southwell and it’s mighty Minster which is six miles to the south, and the historic market town of Newark-on-Trent to the east.
At first glance, Maplebeck, though undeniably pretty in it’s rural and unspoilt location, holds little of note more than many a similar village, that is apart from one building, the local pub known as The Beehive.
Some three decades or so back, The Beehive was extended marginally. Prior to that it had laid claim to being the smallest public house in England.
Still viewed as the most diminutive inn in Nottinghamshire, the tiny pub is a complete treat to visit at any time of year. Summer perhaps brings the pub into its picture book best down it’s little leafy lane. It is however difficult to imagine a more cosy place to sit and have a pint in midwinter, warming oneself by the turf-burning open fire whilst chatting to the friendly locals, some who have visited there for decades.
My first introduction to The Beehive was on the advice of a friend who had found this rare gem and link to the past whilst out motorcycling the country lanes one fine summer’s day. I always remember his words, ‘you know – it’s the sort of pub where you can have a good argument about ploughing!’ .
The interior of the pub boasts two bars, both of minuscule dimensions. the main bar to the left of the old wooden door at the entrance can easily accommodate a conversation being held between drinkers at both ends of the room! Likewise, from some of the old fairly spartan seating it’s a simple matter to merely reach up to the bar whilst still seated and order drinks from the friendly landlord of some twelve years, Frank Shelton.
If one imagines the bar just described to be small then entering the left hand room makes the former appear like a Czech bier hall by comparison! Upon my last visit this little room was packed – with three customers!
It’s not often enough that I manage to visit The Beehive, it being not particularly local to me but when I do, it is always a rare treat – one that is usually following a great meal at nearby Caunton Beck in Caunton village. The Caunton Beck is for another post on another day suffice to say at this point that the two places make an ideal evening out being fairly close to each other.
Nottinghamshire at it’s rural best.