Lowtrow Cross Inn, a traditional country pub, restaurant and B&B, is on the edge of the beautiful Exmoor National Park in the village of Upton in Somerset. Here you (and your well-behaved dog) will find a warm welcome and a friendly atmosphere. We serve local ales, ciders, fine wines and a wide variety of high standard meals. In the summertime our beer garden is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing drink outdoors.

Lowtrow beer garden

In wintertime what could be better than talking with friends and sipping your favourite tipple in the bar with its beamed ceiling while warming by a log fire.

We also offer bed and breakfast in our bedrooms; details can be found on the Accommodation page.

Lowtrow Cross name and local attractions

Theories differ as to how Lowtrow Cross’ name came about. One tradition is that it refers to a hangman’s gibbet placed at the crossroads, though written accounts of such gallows don’t seem to exist. As a curious literary aside, the nineteenth-century novelist Anthony Trollope wrote a short story in 1861 entitled “Aaron Trow,” the latter being convicted of killing a constable. The word “trow” was used in the 17th and 18th centuries to describe various boats or barges which plied the River Severn. A more likely theory is that Raleigh’s Cross and Lowtrow Cross were used as landmarks to divide the various manors of Nettlecombe. Less possible is the notion that the crosses served as warning signs to travellers and indicated the location of a dangerous bog.

But perhaps the most plausible explanation has a historical basis. Raleigh’s Cross was erected by Simon Raleigh who fought at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and marked the place where the body of his wife, Joan, rested while preparations for her funeral were being made. Joan had died in Devon and so, on its way to Raleigh’s Cross, her body needed to rest en route at another cross, or in French, at L’autre croix. It’s easy to imagine that the French words came to be mispronounced “Lowtrow Cross.”

The building itself dates from the seventeenth century and used to be a working farm. When the farm was turned into a pub is not known, but it certainly was one by the early 1900s.

Lowtrow 1900s

The surrounding area offers many attractions. Nearby is Wimbleball Lake where you can sail, row, and fish; there is an activity centre offering tuition in watersports, a children’s play area and a tearoom (open during Spring and Summer). If you enjoy walking, there are paths around the lake, or over Haddon Hill where you might also catch a glimpse of Exmoor ponies or other wildlife. The scenery is stunning.

Deer at West Shute Farm 10-9-2012 (9)

A little further afield, an easy drive will take you to the amazing coastline of  North Somerset and Devon and places such as Porlock, Minehead, Lynton, Lynmouth and Ilfracombe.

More information on local attractions can be found on these websites:

Cleeve Abbey
Dunster Castle
Everything Exmoor
Knightshayes Court
Somerset Guide
Tarr Steps
Tiverton Castle
Visit Exmoor
West Somerset Railway
What’s on Exmoor

And here’s the weather forecast.


Text © J.P. Wearing 2015

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