A Disastrous Wager


Medbourne is an ancient village in leicestershire with a medieval stone bridge over a brook, a beautiful church and a traditional public house. The Nevill Arms Inn has that comfortable look of having been settled in place for ever, and there has indeed been an inn of that name here since medieval times. But this particular one was built in 1863 after its predecessor was burnt to the ground in somewhat unusual circumstances.

Towards the end of a boisterous evening’s drinking, a traveler staying at the inn was boasting that he could support the smithy’s anvil on his chest while a horseshoe was being forged on it. The wagers were placed and four men lugged the anvil into place on the stranger’s stomach and the village blacksmith, who was in attendance began forging. Within minutes, stray sparks had set the Inn on fire, and within a couple of hours the Inn was completely gutted.

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