THE OLD VICARAGE hotel and restaurant in Bridgwater has new owners it has been revealed this week.

Husband and wife team Peter Starling and Candida Leaver are renovating the Grade II listed property section-by-section starting with the restaurant and some of its 20 en suite bedrooms.

Candida said: “We’ll remain open throughout the refurbishments and guests should rest assured it’s business as normal.

"We’re taking bookings for those wishing to stay over and are honouring all bookings made with the previous owners.

“The Old Vicarage is a charming building with some wonderful historical links to Bridgwater’s past including reputably being the place Judge Jeffreys stayed and, also, providing lodgings for Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who designed the train station, also Grade II listed, and a bridge in the town. The hotel is at the very heart of Bridgwater and it desperately needs some TLC."

Mrs Leaver said the couple fell in love with the building when they first looked around last year and have been working hard to make the project a success.

She said: “Anyone who knows us from our time at The Bower Inn will appreciate we’re sticklers for standards and details, and that it is vital we update the décor and upgrade facilities here at The Old Vicarage as soon as possible.

“We’ll be keeping the hotel open while we work on the various sealed-off areas and, rest assured, there will be minimal disruption to guests who have already booked in to stay with us this spring. We will be providing the same breakfast offering, facilities and level of service until the work is complete.”

Peter, Candida and the team hope to have the restaurant renovated and re-opened in March and some of the rooms relaunched in April, with the rest to follow in May.

The Old Vicarage, which dates back to 1327, is located in the town centre and has a south facing patio and garden within its central courtyard, which is accessed by an ancient archway, once used by horses and carriages and made in part from visible wattle and daub.

Candida added: “We’re delighted we’ve been able to take this unique property on and are very excited about the prospect of offering something new to the discerning residents of Bridgwater, the surrounding area and, also, anyone further afield wishing to stay here."

For more details about The Old Vicarage on St. Mary Street, call 01278 458891 or visit