Our History

The History of The Star at Harome

The Star Inn is located in Harome, formerly ‘Harum’ or ‘Harem’, a small agricultural village and parish of Helmsley, on the southern edge of the North Yorkshire Moors in an area rich with historical buildings, such as Rievaulx Abbey, and Byland Abbey.


The history of The Star, itself, is largely rumour and hearsay, however its Grade 2 listing description is as follows:

“House, now public house. Probably C17 with earlier origins. Cruck frame, whitewashed rubble, thatched roof with some pantiles to rear, brick stacks. Lobby-entry 2-room plan with C20 outshut to rear. 1 storey and attic. C20 stable door, flanked by four 2-light Yorkshire sashes. Roof line drops slightly above third window. Ridge stack and end stacks. Interior altered in 1956 removing all but 1 pair of crucks visible in attic. Heck and inglenook seat with fire window to rear.”

Apparently, although we couldn’t say who could confirm this, The Star was the first dwelling in the village of ‘Harum’, as it used to be known, and is a very rare example of a thatched Inn in Yorkshire. Other local legends have it as a hostelry for monks travelling on horseback, visiting the many various Abbeys and Monasteries in the area. Indeed, what is now the private dining room in the loft over the Pub, is thought to have been the dormitory for the brothers sleeping off their ‘skinful’ of mead, ale or whatever beverages were on offer at that time.

Dining room and fire

More factually, we know that in the 1930s the pub was refurbished by local craftsman, Robert ‘Mousey’ Thompson from nearby Kilburn and is acknowledged as his first-ever bar in the book, ‘Mouseman: The Legacy of Robert Thompson of Kilburn’.

In its more recent history, the Inn has certainly seen its fair share of ‘luminaries and celebrities’: JB Priestley apparently used to like to sit in the corner, whilst David Niven and Sophia Loren visited in the 60s and 70s, when the pub established its foodie reputation under the ownership of Dickie Dresser. At that time, the food offer was very much before-its-time with, such as, snails and veal, as well as food being finished at the table, which was a rarity to say the least for a Yorkshire village pub.


By the time Andrew Pern bought it in 1996, The Star had hit hard times and the only way was up, as the pub had actually closed. Nearly 3 decades on and The Star has recorded visitors from both the Royalty of the Land and of the Kitchen, coming to sample the ‘cuisine terroir’ of God’s Own Country! One of the first ever Gastropubs’ it continues to attract visitors from near and far. For many local families, the Inn has been their special place for generations, coming to celebrate birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and christenings.

Mousey Thompson Mouse


However, disaster struck on the night of 24th November 2021, when the Old Dining Room and the Private Dining Room above it, situated in the thatched section of The Star Inn were devasted by a major fire, whilst the the Pub and New Dining Room were badly affected by smoke and heat damage. As a result, the entire restaurant was closed for 12 months for rebuilding and refurbishment works. Fortunately, the ‘Moussey Thompson’ bar and furnishings were rescued and were subsequently restored by the second and third generations of their original makers in Kilburn. Continuing the near hundred year links with these world class local craftsmen, the New Dining Room of The Star gained new 'Mouseman' tables during the post fire refurbishment to add to its original mischief of carved mice.

Mousey Thompson Mouse
A thatch above our head,

the moor beneath our feet,

the space in between is where
we laugh and drink and eat.
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