TWO West Oxfordshire pubs are reopening after extensive refurbishment.

The 17th century Killingworth Castle, in Wootton, near Woodstock, which has been closed for nearly a year, will be back in business on Saturday, December 1, while the Chequers, in Churchill, near Chipping Norton, opened its doors again last Thursday.

Killingworth Castle has been bought by Claire and Jim Alexander, together with their business partner Dan Howson, who will run the pub as its landlord.

The Alexanders also own the Ebrington Arms, near Chipping Campden, in Glou-cestershire, which has won two AA rosettes for its food and has been voted the Camra North Cotswolds Pub of the Year three times.

Mr Alexander said: “We have already been really warmly welcomed by the village. It’s exciting to be putting a pub back into a community.

“The first job is to reopen the pub, but next year we will also reopen the bed and breakfast business.”

The Chequers has been bought by Sam and Georgie Pearman, whose company, the Lucky Onion, also operates the Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach and The Tavern in Cheltenham.

The Chequers reopened after a two-and-a-half week refurbishment.

Mr Pearman said: “Our strong point is good, fresh pub food. Now we want to build on the success of the previous owners, who set a very high standard and established a good reputation.”

Peter Brunt, of pub sector specialist estate agency Colliers, said: “The vendors Peter and Assumpta Golding bought the Chequers in 2003 after it had been closed for about five years.”

He added: “The opportunity to buy a Cotswold pub generating this sort of turnover doesn’t come about very often, which is why it didn’t linger on the market very long.”