The Inn at Freshford is located by the River Frome crossing that gave the village its name. Before the Norman Conquest the spelling was Fereford, meaning the way across a fresh of brisk river. A bridge was probably first built here as early as the 1300s but totally rebuilt in 1530 and again in 1782. We do not know when the first inn was built in this site, but in view of the importance of the river crossing at about six miles from Bath, it is likely to predate the Reformation (early 16th century). The rebuilding of the bridge in 1530 was instigated by the Prior of Hinton and the Abbot of Bath, and described by the writer John Leland as of two or three faire new arches of stone.
In the 17th century much of the village of Freshford including the inn was owned by John Ashe, an important M.P and clothmaker. In 1712 the inn was purchased by his grandson Anthony Methuen of Bradford. He is thought to have initiated a major rebuilding and the name was changed to the New Inn, and with his initials A M 1713 in the top central gable. Although the road passing the inn was made into a turnpike road in 1752, the importance of this route from Bath to Salisbury and Winchester was reduced by the building of a bridge across the River Avon at Limpley Stoke. By 1804 it was described as "The Public House called the New Inn... this is merely an alehouse without accommodation for travellers." In 1784 the landlord of the New Inn arrested a notorious local highwayman called Jack Jones, who was subsequently executed at Ilchester.
In the early 19th century the inn together with a major part of Freshford was purchased by Thomas Joyce. He was an important local cloth maker and built Dunkirk Mill. In time the inn became an important meeting place for the village Friendly Societies such as the one called The Juvenile Heart in hand Friendly Society that was founded in 1855. In fine weather drinking and meeting could take place under an ancient elm tree (died in 1970s) across the road. In the adjacent field, Fair Close, the village fair was held on September 6th well into the second half of the 19th century. For many years in the 19th and 20th centuries the landlord of the inn was a member of the Rose family, and was run in conjunction with a small farm. The present lower car park was the farm yard utilising the former inn stables. Around 1890 the inn was re-roofed and the gables raised, leaving the building much as we see it today.