Competition to take over one of Lacock’s oldest and most treasured businesses is hotting up, with more than 200 applications received in under a month.

The National Trust, which owns the 15th century inn At the Sign of the Angel, has appealed for new owners to take over the historic restaurant and hotel, and has been inundated with offers.

Michael Easton, of estate agent Jones Lang LaSalle, which is handling the sale, said: “We have had a really strong response, in excess of about 200 inquiries.

“We always thought it would be popular. Although it was closed by the time we were involved, it has obviously been a very popular business over the years, and people are clearly very fond of Lacock.”

The former wool merchants’ house has been empty for weeks, after its current tenancy came to and end, prompting the search for a new tenant for a 12-year term.

Mr Easton said: “We are looking for business plans from people to give us their suggestions. We want something that would work in Lacock, but we are very open to suggestions.

“It presents a fantastic opportunity to someone who has experience or enthusiasm for running a popular restaurant and hotel in a historic venue.

“While the building lends itself very much to a restaurant with rooms, but we haven’t ruled anything out.”

The property’s inventory, which was not in the ownership of the National Trust, has been removed, so any new tenant will need to reinvigorate and refurnish the customer and trades areas.

The pub, which appeared as a backdrop in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and proudly boasts of its resident ghost, has been run by the National Trust for 60 years.

The closing date for applications is Friday. Interested parties should provide CVs and business plans.

Further details are available from Jones Lang LaSalle on (01392) 423696 or via