A hotel that featured prominently in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge is to be relaunched in the new year.
The King's Arms in Dorchester was bought by the Stay Original Company in November 2015, which plans to relaunch the hotel in the new year with restored Georgian features after a comprehensive refurbishment.
The hotel is the fourth project taken on by the Stay Original Company, which has refubished a series of inns in the South West, including the Swan in Wedmore and the White Hart in Somerton.
A spokesman for Stay Original Company told the Daily Mail: "The design concept aims to re-establish the Kings Arms as the best and most widely used venue in Dorchester.
"The works therefore concentrate on reinstating many of the significant features of the 18th century coaching inn that have been lost under a series of low value "makeovers" by previous owners.
"The building remains a key landmark in the town and its present condition represents a waste of a tremendous asset."
Mike Nixon, secretary of the Thomas Hardy Society, told the paper he was delighted that the hotel was set to reopen.
He added: "They have taken on board what it was like in Thomas Hardy's day so everything that was around in his time will be redone and remade in the style of the Victorian surroundings Hardy would have known."
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