Our history


The history of the Filly Inn

The original part of the pub, goes back to the 16th century, with a low ceiling and sturdy oak beams adorned with traps and old gadgets. On the ceiling and walls there are swords, bayonets, logging saws, horse bits, martingales, horse brasses, 18th century punt guns, ankers and farm implements such as hop shovels and marl pit cutters. Locals believe that the friendly ghost of a long dead highwayman roams the Inn at night.


“By Marlpit Oak, a lofty landmark on a bare heath, beloved of deer stealers in the old poaching days, with a dense thicket round it’s knees, good to hide in, there lurked one night three men of the outlaw type who used to hunt the forest. They were lying in wait a traveller known to be returning to his home with a large sum of money.

Photograph of inside the pub, by a fireplace

“Though there were three to one, he showed fight, so they murdered him and dragged his body to Latchmoor, where they threw it into the pool.

“Across the moor at Setley stood a little Inne of evil repute, called the Three Feathers, or the Three Pigeons, or some such name.

“There they called for drinks, threw their money about freely, and bragged in their cups, so they were taken and hanged at Marlpit Oak.

“The bodies, hanging in chains, have mouldered into dust, the gallows tree no longer adorns the spot where the now cheery foxhounds meet on many a winter morning, but it was some time before the Inne recovered from its evil savour. People would call it the Three Murderers, so at last it was pulled down, rebuilt and rechristened as the Oddfellows Arms, under which title it became a respectable wayside hostelry.

“The ghost who has been heard and felt by all that lived here, and many of the customers, is reputed to be one of the Highwaymen, repentant for his evil deed.”
(This legend appears in the (undated) book The New Forest by Elizabeth Godfrey, published by Blackie and Sons Ltd., London and Glasgow.)

Be assured that the ghost is still around and makes his presence felt by either just passing by or by flinging ornaments across the room. The staff certainly use him as an excuse when something is amiss!