THE refurbishment of a historic pub which pre-dates the M48 Severn Bridge it sits beneath has seen the main phase of work completed.

The Old Ferry Business Centre occupies what was once a thriving Severn Estuary pub, the Old Ferry Inn.

David Peacey, one of the new owners, said that – at present – the work has progressed as far as it can go.

“The bit which is left is in a very bad state,” he said.

The site was purchased in 2018 and the refurbishment started the next year.

“The first part of the refurbishment work was completed in October 2020 when Certus Construction relocated their offices to the site,” Mr Peacey said.

The Old Ferry Inn, located next to the former ferry slipway, was once called Waverley House and then the Beachley Ferry Hotel.

It saw its heyday before the construction of the Severn Bridge, when the only way to cross the Bristol Channel was by car ferry.

“Initially we looked around and thought ‘a lick of paint will be all right’,” Mr Peacey said.

“But when we started pulling it about, it was like the house that Jack built.

“There were roofs upon roofs. Pretty major stuff.”

During the refurbishment, some of the old items from the pub were salvaged to “maintain some of the old character” of the new business complex.

“The old anchor which used to be in the garden has now been refurbished as well as a load of the old photographs which used to be in the pub back in the day,” Mr Peacey explained.

Local folklore also has it that the 16-bedroom Old Ferry Inn played host to Bob Dylan during his contentious ‘Judas Tour’.

More history was unearthed during the renovation works during the construction of a new retaining wall when a Second World War fortification was discovered.

The emplacement, colloquially known as a pill box due to its shape, was found after land near the pub was cleared to construct the wall.

The Old Ferry Business Centre now has capacity for nine business tenants – with Certus Construction currently the main tenant.

Mr Peacey explained that, at present, the project had cost in excess of £250,000.

“We had a good uptake of the initial phase of the development so that was the catalyst to push on with the latest phase,” he said.

Rob Wilson, a co-owner, explained that the business centre was able to cater for firms of two-to-three people as well as more established businesses of eight-to-ten people.

“Or the same firm could occupy multiple offices. We try to offer flexibility,” he said.

Units at the Old Ferry Business Centre start at 180sq ft, starting from £400 a month including broadband and on-site parking.

There are currently a number of offices available to let at the business centre.