About The Donkey

History & The Donkeys

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The Donkey was originally converted from two small cottages into a public house in 1850, and at that time was owned by Farnham United Brewery and originally called The Half-way House.

During that time it acquired the nickname of “The Donkey”, as before the days of motor traffic, donkeys were kept tethered outside the Inn to help the horses and carts up the hill. In 1947 the name was officially changed.

The sandy soil in and around the Elstead area led to carrots being farmed and becoming an important crop. The Elstead Carrot Diggers were famed for the speed at which they worked, and made their deliveries on a donkey drawn cart. How much of the crop the donkeys ate is not known!

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Current owners, Lee and Helen Francis are members of The Donkey Breed Society, and originally had a donkey called Jane who lived to a good old age. Now their most important residents are the donkeys Pip and Dusty who have been living in the garden of the Donkey Inn since year 2000. They now have their own paddock and a purpose built stable.

Children and adults who come to the pub love the Donkeys as they are very friendly. The donkeys like the attention especially in the Summer when the garden is really busy with customers. The building has been extended over the years with the sunny conservatory being the most recent addition.