Village near Knaresborough left in dark over fire-damaged pub’s future
Nov 1, 2023
Photo of the Tiger Inn in Coneythorpe, which has not reopened since it was damaged by a fire in August.
The Tiger Inn pictured this week.

Uncertainty surrounds the future of a Harrogate district village pub which suffered its second fire in three years over the summer. 

The Tiger Inn in Coneythorpe, north of Knaresborough, is believed not to have been renovated since the blaze and its tenants, Ian and Barbara Gill, are understood to have left the property permanently.

The pub’s phone number directs customers to its website, which features a pop-up box stating: “Due to an extensive fire in our kitchens, we are not open at this time”. That redirects visitors to a Facebook link that no longer works. 

The property lies empty, but according to sources in the village, cleaners have been in and the pub is checked on periodically.

When the Stray Ferret visited this week to try to find out what was happening, one person, who asked not to be named, said:

“No-one in the village knows what’s going on. Nobody’s told us anything. It’s such a shame, because the pub’s the hub of the village and we miss it, especially coming up to Christmas.”

It is not known why the tenants have left. Barbara Gill is the sole director of MGG Developments Co Ltd, which trades as The Tiger Inn, and the company’s latest accounts filed on June 15, 2023, paint a picture of a business with a future.

It is referred to as a going concern “despite suffering a fire to the business premises during the previous year which caused extensive damage”. It continues: 

“This is fully subjected to an insurance claim which is not expected to have any long-term financial implications to the company.”

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Jon West, a Coneythorpe resident who sits on Arkendale, Coneythorpe and Clareton Parish Council, told the Stray Ferret: 

“The only fact I can share with you is that the Tiger Inn is shut and for an unknown period. All other information I have is hearsay or guesswork which is not mine to share.”

The Tiger Inn suffered its first fire in November 2020, just four months after reopening from the national covid lockdown. The blaze started in the kitchen and lasted for six hours, causing widespread damage.

It reopened after renovation and refurbishment in October 2021, and the Gills marked the occasion by presenting a cheque for £5,000 to the Fire Fighters Charity in thanks for the efforts of the fire crews from Harrogate, Knaresborough and Acomb who put out the blaze.

But less than a year later, firefighters were again called to the pub, after an overheating ice machine caused a second devastating fire.