A much-loved west Dorset pub has closed down.

The owners of the Clockhouse Inn at Chideock, known as 'The Clock' announced that "it is with great sadness and a heavy heart" that the historic pub had closed its doors for the final time today, Sunday.

The pub, which is on the A35, was destroyed in a devastating fire in 2015.

Owner Mike Long, along with his wife Helen and daughters Charlotte and Jessica, lost everything they own – but were overwhelmed by the goodwill of Chideock residents in donating all they could to help the family get back on their feet.

Mr Long said at the time: "We will be back bigger, we will be back stronger and we will be back with more history. We will save whatever we can save in there."

Although it was eventually rebuilt and relaunched as a new and refreshed venue, the owners said a number of factors had put increasing pressure on the business over the last few years.

READ MOREHistoric Chideock pub destroyed after chimney fire

In a statement on social media they said: "'THE CLOCK' in Chideock has closed its doors for the final time today (Sunday 3rd December).

"Whilst everyone is struggling with increased cost of living at the moment, we have had the added pressure of quadrupled insurance (even though the building is safer than it has ever been) alongside rising loan repayments that were needed after the fire. Then of course we all had Covid to contend with.

"We hoped that we could have sold the business over the last couple of years, to someone that didn’t have the increased costs we do, but sadly not and that has left us no other option."

Bridport and Lyme Regis News:

The fire in 2015                   Picture: Graham Hunt

They added: "We would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of staff, and each and every one of you, that have supported us over the last 21 and a half years, it’s been a pleasure.

"We hope that one day, someone will be able to get the cogs turning again, but for now, stay safe everyone and THANK YOU. Helen, Eric, Barbara, Jessica, Charlotte and Mike."