Car smashes into historic West Country pub

A motorist had to receive medical attention after a car smashed into a historic West Country pub causing a heavy stone pillar to fall onto the vehicle. Police and ambulance crews were called to the Langport Arms Hotel, in Langport near Taunton, at about 8.22pm yesterday.

They found a grey Peugeot crushed beneath one of the pillars from a wrecked portico. The diver had managed to get out of the vehicle and received medical attention from the ambulance service, but is understood not to be seriously injured.

The Bow Street road was closed by police while fire crews used telescopic steel Acrow props to support the porch roof. A Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said the building had been made safe by 10.16pm and added: “An internal inspection of the property has revealed there are no deformities to the external wall.”

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Witnesses reported that the pub, parts of which date from the 15th Century, “shook” after the crash. Customers inside the Langport Arms Hotel said they heard a loud bang and, along with passersby, ran to the driver’s aid.

A worker at the Langport Arms Hotel, named only as Tom, confirmed the pub had to close following the incident, with customers being ordered to leave on safety grounds. He said: “It was a massive bang and the building shook. Everyone is ok.

“Obviously we shut the pub and it is just staff in the pub. The fire brigade is here and we are not sure what’s going on. The frontage of the balcony is not safe.”

One passersby said: “I am not sure who the driver is but no one appeared injured and all were out of the car safely. Witnesses from the car behind and customers inside the Langport Arms came out to help.”

A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: “Crews from Somerton and Taunton were called to the Langport Arms Hotel, in Langport at 8.22pm after a single vehicle struck the property and brought down a stone support for the front porch.

The driver is free of the vehicle and received medical attention from the ambulance service.”

The Langport Arms Hotel was originally built as a private house in 1420 and much of the original building remains. It became an inn during the 16th Century and has been called the Langport Arms Hotel since the 18th Century.

Posting on Facebook this morning (Sunday) the Langport Arms Hotel said the front entrance to the hotel is still blocked and the balcony has been structurally damaged, but that the pub remains open.

The statement added: "Emergency services were called immediately and first aid was offered onsite immediately. We are thankful and very much grateful to our employees who acted so promptly during this shocking and trying time.

"We hope you understand that we will be unable to provide updates upon the incident as we continue to cooperate with the relevant authorities. However we want to make it clear that the hotel bar is open and the Sunday Carvery is still open.

"The side door will be our main entrance for the time being. Due to the current situation, we are unable to offer direct disabled access, however we will endeavour to support as much as we can. Thank you for your continued support and understanding."

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