The Charlton Cat
The Charlton Cat is a delightful, licensed tea room, right in the heart of the Vale of Pewsey. Originally a village pub, The Charlton Cat offers an elegant, relaxed and comfortable space to have morning coffee, lunch, afternoon tea or weekend brunch. The seating provides plenty of space, so ideal for groups of friends or family with lots to talk about whilst they dine!
As well as the dining room and a private room for functions, you can relax on the sofas in front of the open fire or, on sunnier days, sit outside on the terrace.
Gigi and her team offer a very warm welcome. Enjoy a wide selection of tea and coffee, as well as really delicious, beautiful home-made cakes.
Make sure you don’t miss the special events, such as the Steak Nights and Tapas on the Terrace, all listed on our events page.
There is plenty of good walking in this part of the Vale of Pewsey which means The Charlton Cat is a great place for refreshments on your route. Just across the road from The Charlton Cat is Charlton Drove which dates back to the 13th century and is a route along which livestock would be herded, probably to the (then) livestock market at Upavon.
The history of The Charlton Cat is fascinating, taking you back to the 18th century, when it was a public house known as The Red Lion. In the mid-19th century, the name changed to The Poore’s Arms (after Edward Poore, Lord of the nearby Manor of Rushall) and was known as such until the 1920’s. During this period, the inn was also a Posting House Inn where men carrying mail, and the regular mail coaches, could change horses. However, despite the name change, the villagers in Charlton St Peter had long known it as “The Cat” – taken from the ill-painted sign from the original inn depicting a red lion and so this name was formally adopted in 1921.
The Charlton Cat is also associated with Stephen Duck – “The Thresher Poet” – who was born in Charlton in 1705. He was an agricultural labourer who, despite receiving a very basic education, went on to educate himself. He wrote “The Thresher’s Labour”, a poem describing the work of labourers at that time. He went on to attend the Royal Court and was a protégé of Queen Caroline. In 1734, Viscount Palmerston purchased an acre of land in the neighbouring village of Rushall – known as Duck’s Acre – the rent of which was to provide for an annual feast for agricultural labourers of Charlton Parish at the Charlton Cat each June, in celebration of the Thresher Poet.