The Mug House, Claines

The Mug House is a rare example of a public house in a churchyard, some say, the only one today. Tombstones, flaking and grey, are within a few feet of the front door, and the church, is only 30 paces away. Calling for their evening pint, the villager's until recent times's had to approach by the churchyard path. It has stood there for at least 700 years, even before it was a burial place, for though the church dates from the 13th century, it was not until 1400 that a licence for burial was granted, previously the dead had to be conveyed into Worcester.

Years before the Parish Councils Act, the Mug House was the village parliament. Vestry meetings were held there, and part of the profits of the sale of ale went to the church in exchange for the privilege of the licence. There were disgraceful scenes at Claines Wake's, held in the churchyard, but no word was said against the landlord and his regulars of the Mug. A document dated 1585 records a dispute about the ownership of a garden which ran up to the Mug House. It was amicably settled, at length - that it belonged to the rectory.

Th Mug House had its ghost of course, but was badly treated by the villagers,. They joke about it, and tell how it walks to the door and cries 'Beware', then goes into the church to play the organ.