A village pub near Kidlington has shut suddenly, with drinkers praising the landlords who ran it.

The Blacks Head Inn in Bletchingdon is now closed, according to the pub's Facebook page.

Staff posted a message on Friday, saying: "Tomorrow night will unfortunately be the last night the pub will be open.

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"We would just like to thank everyone that has supported us over the last year it’s been amazing and we have lots of great memories of our time here.

"We are so sad to be moving on but the cost of living has made it impossible to stay open. The pub will be open from 12pm tomorrow - Grace, Barney & the team."

Barney Tharby, who took over as landlord in February last year, said the cost of living crisis had forced him and his wife to leave.

He added: "Our utility bills doubled, and in October we noticed a 35 per cent drop in revenue, because some customers could no longer afford to keep coming in - they had no money left for beer, and we had to make the decision that the business for us was no longer viable."

Oxford Mail:

The traditional country pub with exposed beams, a pool table and beer garden plus B&B rooms is now listed as being 'temporarily closed'.

The pub had a 4.5 out of 5 rating on reviews site Tripadvisor.

Customer Andy wrote on Tripadvisor in November: "What a friendly locals pub, good ale, good service, good price, best Sunday carvery at a decent price, I'm glad I booked it was packed out. Going back next week."

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Drinkers in the village were quick to praise the landlords for their efforts during the past year.

Tracey Cormack wrote: "The right couple to run our local shame the energy giants are so greedy....thank you Grace Tharby, Barney Tharby and team xxx."

Oxford Mail:

Lynn Beckett added: "Such sad news for you both and for the village wishing you all the best for the future."

Barbara Oster said: "A very very sad day. Losing our pub and the best publicans in the world. You have been so creative and involved us all in a load of fun. Go well and thanks. You have been amazing."

Anthony Reynolds wrote: "It will be a sad day Grace and Barney and team - you did a great job I have had some good times over the last year and a few hangovers."

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And Carl Davies said: "You both did an incredible job, it's so sad you have to close. I hope whatever you go on to do is a massive success. You both deserve it, good luck."

Dave Richardson, of the Oxford branch of real ale group CAMRA, said: "It's sad to see any pub close, but understandable after all the problems faced by pubs in the last couple of years, now culminating in a real squeeze on consumer spending and sky-high energy costs.

Oxford Mail:

"The Chancellor's decision to scale back energy discounts for businesses is another blow, which could impact the number of people interested in re-opening closed pubs.

"CAMRA continues to plead for a package of support for pubs including introducing the lower rate of duty for draught beer that has already been agreed, and a reduction in business rates."

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF