Samuel Pepys

Samuel Pepys, who lived from 1633-1703, was a naval administrator and diarist. He was most famous for his diary which he wrote between 1660-69.

In his diary of 1668 he states that having visited Salisbury, he and his party wished to proceed to Bath. They started with a guide at about 6 o'clock and travelled across the Salisbury Plain until night, when by a happy mistake they were carried out of their way to a "town", which he later calls Chitterne. Here they found accommodation at an inn,

"by and by to bed, glad of the mistake because it seems, had we gone on as we pretended, we could not have passed with our coach and must have lain on the plain all night."
He relates that they found their beds,
"good, but lousy: which made us merry".

They then took the landlord of the inn, Thomas Pryor, as guide to Bath and arrived there without further trouble.

The inn mentioned in his account is widely believed to have been the "White Hart", which stands near the centre of the village on the junction of the B390 with the Tilshead road. It has been a private house for some years but it's name "White Hart House", serves as a reminder of it's origins and most famous customer.