Our History Timeline

The History

The historical record shows that the Inn’s history began on 23rd June 1727, when Ambrose Wright bought Cobbs Meadow from John Bogges of Great Finborough.

He built a public house and called it Sweep Chimney, although there is no record of why he chose this name. The property was still valued at just £175 when it was sold on to William Aldrich in 1767 and it changed hands by successive Wills through the Aldrich family until it was sold in 1805 to John Cobbold, brewer of Ipswich, for just £12.00 in lieu of debts.

The pub has seen many owners over the years and there seems no record of when or why the name was changed.  The Dickerson family , who were also registered as farmers and who owned what is now Mallard Cottage, were innkeepers from 1864 to May 1903. William and his son, Morris are shown in the photographs in front of the Punchbowl, around the turn of the last century.

Frank Cobbold kept the pub for almost 40 years, until it was taken on by Cecil Thomas. These last two landlords are remembered by older residents in Battisford.

After Cecil pulled his last pint, the brewery undertook some renovations and the first new landlord was Albert Smith. There were 8 different landlords up to October 1999, all of them staying around 3 years.  Tolly Cobbold then put the property up for sale.

More Recently

The next milestone is when Battisford Parish Plan asked villagers to name facilities they would like to see created or restored.   The Punch Bowl was named – it had been closed, after a series of short-term tenants.   

After examining several different projects around the country and taking advice from  Pub Is The Hub and our local authorities, a Community Interest Company was formed (“CIC”) with five local people as directors; they negotiated a lease from the pub’s owner.  After much work, the Punch Bowl Inn re-opened as the first “Community Inn” in Suffolk just before Easter 2011.