Work on The King’s Arms, Dorchester has been suspended. The renovation of the historic hotel, famed for its literary links to Thomas Hardy, and which has played host to monarchs and musicians, was in the very final stages of completion. However, given the current situation, the decision has been taken to suspend work. This is only a temporary measure. Once it’s safe to do so, work will immediately begin again.

The King’s Arms had been scheduled to reopen in April under the ownership of the Stay Original Company, owners of a group of boutique hotels and coaching-inns across the South West.

Stay Original Managing Director, Rob Greacen, said: “Sadly we have closed all our pubs and hotels this week. We think it’s the only responsible thing to do for staff and customers alike. We have obviously also had to halt construction as we all try to minimise the spread of this virus. However, the good news is that this is only a temporary measure and we’ll be back on track as soon as it’s safe to do so. I’d like to thank the people of Dorchester for the overwhelming support and patience. We’re desperate to open the doors and welcome everyone in the not too distant future. Until then, stay safe and well.”