The Assheton Arms at Downham is across the road from the 13th century church, close to the village stocks, and at the centre of Ribble Valley history.
But for 250 years it’s always been a limestone building. Now it’s making a fresh debut... in gingerbread.
Antony Shirley, head chef at The Assheton Arms, has made a replica of the 18th century pub to celebrate the first Christmas there since Joycelyn Neve turned the village hostelry into a destination gastro pub earlier this year.
The foot-high gingerbread pub, built on a wood dowelling frame, took 15 hours to make with eight kilos of gingerbread and 12 kilos of icing, with individually made panes of “glass” set into hand-crafted “window frames”.
The finished building, sprayed with edible gold paint and set in a snow scene, will now go on display at MSW Hewetsons estate agents in Church Street, Clitheroe, and at The Assheton Arms, while it is raffled in support of Derian House Childrens Hospice at Chorley.
On Christmas Day miniature versions will be given away to every child who eats there with their parents.
“It was not easy to model The Assheton in gingerbread, but the sleepless night will definitely be worthwhile,” said Antony – a former sous chef at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge and head chef at Raffles in the West Indies.
“We hope it gives everyone a bit of pleasure before going to help a very deserving cause.”