A COTSWOLD pub has gone on the market following claims of a "hostile social media campaign'.

The historic Fox and Hounds has gone up for sale for a price of £550,000 in a case the estate agents is calling one of the most unusual he had come across.

Jacqueline Harding and Steve Allely bought the Grade II listed Fox and Hounds in 2015 when the Great Wolford pub with them spending £40,000 on a refurbishment programme aimed at boosting trade.

But according to Colliers International, the property agency behind the marketing of the watering hole, they ran into the village campaign which has now led the fed up owners to sell.

Complaints about the pub, which dates back to the 1540s, included pub-goers unhappy with the pub's standards, including in food and service, with calls for new owners.

A planning application to convert the building into housing was later met with opposition with a campaign group, Rescue the Fox and Hounds, becoming active on a website and on social media. That application was withdrawn in October.

On the website, the campaign group wrote: "A pub needs a proper, full-time landlord to thrive.

"They claim the pub isn't viable - the Fox is absolutely viable.

"The Fox is a wonderful pub that, until recently, was very popular with both locals and visitors."

Peter Brunt, a director with Collier's hotels team, said "I had sold the pub to the current owners but for whatever reason Jackie and Steve’s refurbishment did not sit well with some of the locals who began a hostile campaign calling on people to boycott the business," he said.

“This has hamstrung Jackie and Steve’s attempts to turn the business around and they have been forced, reluctantly, to place this genuinely delightful pub on the market with offers invited in the region of £550,000.”

The pub is being marketed as a "quintessential unspoiled English country inn" in easy reach of the tourist hotspots of the Cotswolds.

The marketing adds that the pub currently has three attractive letting rooms along with two bedroomed owners’ accommodation.

Mr Brunt added: “The inn is presently closed but could be a real foodie haven. It has been at the heart of the village since 1540 and lies at the centre of a network of ancient footpaths and bridleways which makes it particularly attractive for walkers.

"It now has an Asset of Community Value notification registered on it.

"The Fox is everything you would hope to find in a pretty Cotswold village.

"It has flagged floors, low beams and huge open fireplace."