The Half Moon is an early 15th century coaching house, which used to brew its own beer. The pub is situated on a main road between London and the south coast. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries the pub, by law, had to provide accommodation for travelers, offering them a room and some food. In the late 18th century and early 19th the pub used to have an additional outer building, which was used as a barbers shop and a small stable. Progress gave way to the motor car from the horse and cart. The pub moved with the times and at one point it sold oil and petrol to motorists. Evidence of this can be clearly seen from an early photograph displayed in the bar. The pub's most famous landlord was Noah Mann, who was resident in 1775. His claim to fame was that he was the first swerve bowler to play for England. A swerve bowler used an underarm technique. He played at Broadhalf Penny Green, Hambledon Hampshire, this is considered to be the birthplace of cricket. Landlords included a Mr. and Mrs. Ayling who were caught watering down spirits. Mr. Ayling was supposed to have murdered a chestnut seller who got drunk one Friday night and behaved inappropriately. The landlord hit the chestnut seller over the back of the head with a beer bottle, knocked him out and put him to sleep it off in the stable: in the morning the man was found to be dead. There have been a total of five more landlords up to the present day. Today the pub is owned and run by Mr. & Mrs. Keith Sandieson, they have been at the pub for over seventeen years, and enjoy a good reputation for their home made dishes, good beer and a friendly atmosphere.
The inside of the pub is decorated with an array of antiques and tools, and agricultural implements.
The true story of Noah Mann.....
The story can be read by those who visit the pub. An account of the sad end of Noah Mann is located inside a picture frame by the right-hand side of the fire place.
One of those great Hambledon men who played at cricket. He was born at North Chapel in 1756 and was the owner of the Half-Moon Inn. He was left handed, both as a batsman and a bowler, and was a great hitter of the ball. His left-handed bowling (under arm of course) had an extraordinary curve the whole way and was very deceptive. Apart from cricket, he could also perform extraordinary feats on horse back, being able to pickup from the ground handkerchiefs while going at full speed. His death was a melancholy one; he had been out shooting; and his return to the Half-moon inn, wet and tired, he had a free carouse with his companions; refusing to go to bed, he persisted in sleeping all night in his chair in front of the fire. During the night, having fallen asleep, he fell out of his chair into the embers and he was so severely burnt that he died the next day. His death took place at the early age of 33, in December, 1789.
His ghost now haunts the Half-Moon until this day. Since that day, the pub's home made ale has never tasted better.