History

This building used to be Rockford Primary School, which closed in the 1960s. There is a photo in the bar of the school in 1940 when it was requisitioned for military purposes in connection with Ibsley Airfield. George Gale & Co bought the building and turned it into a public house, and then in 2005 it was acquired by Fullers.

Dame Alice was a daughter of Sir White Beconshaw of Moyles Court at Ellingham (just down the road, now Moyles Court School). Alice Lisle's husband, Sir John Lisle (d. 1664), had been one of the judges at the trial of Charles I, and was subsequently a member of Cromwell's House of Lords, hence his wife's courtesy title.

On 20 July 1685, a fortnight after the Battle of Sedgemoor, Lady Alice agreed to shelter John Hickes, a well-known Nonconformist minister, at Moyles Court, where she lived. Hickes, who was a member of Monmouth's defeated army, brought with him Richard Nelthorpe, another supporter of Monmouth and under sentence for outlawry. The men spent the night at Moyles Court, and in the morning were arrested. Alice Lisle initially denied that they were there but was later charged with harboring traitors.

Lady Alice's case was tried by Judge Jeffreys at the opening of the Bloody Assizes at Winchester. She pleaded she had no knowledge that Hickes's offence was anything more serious than illegal preaching. Furthermore, she had known nothing of Nelthorpe. She said she had no sympathy with the rebellion whatsoever. The jury reluctantly found her guilty and she was sentenced to be burned.

Jeffreys respited the sentence for a week but James II refused to extend mercy to her, though he allowed beheading as fit her station to be substituted for burning. Lady Alice Lisle was publicly executed in the Winchester market-place on 2 September 1685. She is buried in a tomb on the right hand side of the porch at St Mary and All Saints Church, in Ellingham, Hampshire.

A plaque marks the spot of Lady Alice's execution, opposite "The Eclipse Inn" near the Cathedral in Winchester.

The pub is notoriously (and somewhat gruesomely) named after the last woman to be publicly beheaded in England - Alice Lisle was found guilty of harbouring fugitives back in 1685.

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