A HEREFORDSHIRE mansion that was a favourite of the stars is to open a bar as a tribute to a renowned TV comic.

Penrhos Court, near Kington, will open the Python's Arms, a bar they say promises atmosphere, charm, cosiness and quirkiness.

It has a nod to a real affection to Monty Python’s late Terry Jones, who once ran a brewery in the outbuildings.

Monty Python's Flying Circus was a British surreal comedy sketch show that was broadcast on the BBC between 1969 and 1974. It spawned several spin-off big-screen films.

Ledbury Reporter: Monty Python star Terry JonesMonty Python star Terry Jones

Customers are already well-acquainted with the Cattle Shed, a café adjoining the site of the Python’s well-publicised and world record-breaking microbrewery.

The plans to open the bar have the full blessing of Terry Jones’s son, Bill, who has a soft spot for Penrhos Court, which was also frequented by other members of the Flying Circus team.

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The beautiful house dates back to 1280. To put that into perspective this was a time when Edward Longshanks, scourge of the Scots, was on the throne.

The grade II-listed building is now home to Mark Bentham, his partner Laura Lane and their 14-year-old son, Dillan, not forgetting their monumentally huge Turkish Kangal street dogs Leo and Mouse, and an elderly cat, Weasel.

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In the six years since the family came to Penrhos, Covid-19 has intervened, but now they are ready to push on with their various exciting projects.

First and foremost is a row of seven self-catering cottages converted from the old farm’s threshing barn, luxuriously appointed and each with views of hillside and woodland sweeping down towards Kington.


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Much work has gone into shaping and preparing the half-timbered cottages, and one of them can boast that Sir Paul McCartney once slept here, although his bedroom is now a large living room.

Freddie Mercury was also a one-time resident, and it is reputed that members of Queen spent time at Penrhos Court rehearsing Bohemian Rhapsody before it was recorded at Rockfield Studios.

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The place was a beacon to musicians such as Tubular Bells’ composer Mike Oldfield, a familiar visitor who nonetheless declined to be part of a beery game of rounders as described by Michael Palin in his diaries, The Python Years.

The whole place – a quadrangle of farm buildings and house overlooking a large pond full of bullrushes – has a sense of calm.

It enticed the big names of music, showbusiness and politics, providing an oasis of calm after their glitzy appearances at Hay Festival.

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Former US president Bill Clinton stayed here, as did Led Zeppelin.

Mark and Laura were delighted when vocalist Robert Plant turned up in the Cattle Shed one day to remember the old days.

The couple are thrilled that the forthcoming Python’s Arms will be equipped with Terry Jones’ original bar, and they have stacks of pictures of him promoting Penrhos ale.

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In particular, there is one of him at the opening of Camra’s 1977 Great British Beer Festival at Alexandra Palace in his Penrhos Ales sweater – tipping a pint over his head.

He was heard to say: “You could tell it was real ale the way it dripped over your shoulders and ran down into your boots.”