At present the earliest mention we have found of our pub is in the Post Office Directory of 1856 which states that there is a pub called the 'Pyworthy Inn', run by a Simon Penwarden. 

However by 1878 ( according to Harrod's Directory) the pub is named as the 'Molesworth Arms' run by Samuel Penwarden - possibly his son?

The following is an extract from the 1881 Census and shows the pub as a dwelling in Pyworthy Village, but confirms Samuel Penwarden as the Publican and Head.  

Dwelling:              Village

Census Place:       Pyworthy, Devon England

Source:                    FHL Film 1341545 PRO Ref RG11   Piece: 2265          Folio 19     Page 4 

                                                             Marr      Age         Sex           Birthplace 

Samuel PENWARDEN                                            M           41           M              Pyworthy, Devon, England

                               Rel:         Head                    

                               Occ:        Publican


                               Rel:         Daur             U            15           F             Pyworthy, Devon, England

                               Occ:        Daur


                               Rel:         Son              U            13           M           Pyworthy, Devon, England

                               Occ:        Son        


                               Rel:         Daur             U            11           F            Pyworthy, Devon, England

                               Occ:        Scholar


                               Rel:         Son              U            7            M           Pyworthy, Devon, England

                               Occ:        Scholar


                              Rel:         Son               U            6             M           Pyworthy, Devon, England

                              Occ:        Scholar


                              Rel:         Son               U            3             M           Pyworthy, Devon, England

                              Occ:        Scholar

The Molesworth Arms, Pyworthy has always been a popular pub and for many years has been renown for its extensive menu and very good food.

In August 2013 a rumour circulated around the village that the then owner had stated that he was planning to close the pub on Friday 23rd August and apply for planning permission to convert it into living accommodation.   

As can be imagined the Parishioners were extremely upset at this news and wanted to do something to prevent this.    The pub was the heart of our village and an important meeting place for catching up with friends and neighbours.     Luckily, a piece of good luck bought to our attention the fact that a village could apply to its District Council to have the building made a “Community Asset” which meant that it had to keep the use as a Public House.    

Briefly, a small group of Parishioners, working in haste, were able to submit an application to Torridge District Council in September 2013 and were successful in making our pub a Community Asset, which in effect prevented the current owner from obtaining Planning Permission to convert the pub into living accommodation.

The Pub stood empty from August 2013 until December 2015 when it was sold to a recently retired couple who were keen to open it up again as a village pub.  The new owners Kit and Monique Hepple, worked hard and fast to make some improvements and decorations to the building and they re-opened on the 12th December 2015 when locals were invited along to the reopening.     It was packed out and it was a real treat to catch up with villagers that many of us had almost lost touch with after the closure of the pub.

Since then they have started serving food and The Molesworth Arms’ reputation is being restored.    The History Group had their “After Christmas Dinner” there on Thursday 21st January and everyone agreed that the surroundings, atmosphere and food were exceptional.   Kit and Monique and their staff were extremely attentive and efficient and I can truly say that all of us will be making the pub a regular meeting place again.    Pyworthy has had a successful heart transplant. 

They have a Facebook page and a webpage