About The Merrie Lion

The Merrie Lion was built in 1710 and has had a variey of uses over the years until becoming a public house in the nineteenth century. Until the 1950s the pub was called ‘The Red Lion’.  There are many theories about how the name change came about, but we believe it was named after a local resident. It’s always been a popular pub situated at the ‘hub’ of Fenny Compton village which itself has grown and contracted over the years.  Like many village pubs more recently, the Merrie Lion was starved of investment by the brewery when customers were scarce and the pub was allowed to decline until sadly closing in 2010. The brewery had wished to sell the building as a housing development – but that’s where matters took an important turn.

Villagers Nigel and Daphne Leck had lived in Fenny Compton for 16 years and had always wanted a pub of their own. When they saw the Merrie Lion was vacant, they enquired but found the price was too high to make it a profitable business. Then suddenly the premises were sold and it looked like Nigel and Daphne’s dream was over.

In a final effort, Nigel and Daphne contacted the buyer with the suggestion that they leased the property with the support of Fenny Compton in order that the village could continue to have a pub at its centre. To their surprise they found a reasonable response.  The rest, as they say, is history. A public meeting , supported by 200 local villagers offered the opportunity for Fenny residents to take a £500 share in the pub. Funds from these shareholders was then added to Nigel and Daphne’s own funds and the big clean up began. There’s more on the story with an article reprinted from the Warwickshire Life magazine.