FLOODING caused by months of heavy rain have forced an award-winning Dorset pub to close its doors for repair works.
The recently refurbished New Inn at Cerne Abbas had to close for a week when it was hit by floods last July.
More extensive repairs are now under way and it is hoped that the pub will reopen in early March.
Landlord Jeremy Lee was judged national Landlord of the Year 2012 by the Good Pub Guide and The New Inn was a finalist in the Best Dining Pub class at last year's Taste of Dorset Awards.
Mr Lee said: "Sunday night was our last night for a while, sadly, which means we won't be open to serve drinks, meals or offer accommodation in any of our rooms until the beginning of March.
"The cause of the flooding is the ground water, which has been way too high since the summer."
Palmers Brewery's tenanted trade director Jayson Perfect said: "We're are very much looking forward to March and the upcoming Easter period, when this very special pub will be open for diners and drinkers once again.
Palmers Brewery made a substantial investment in refurbishing the historic pub, which reopened in June 2012 with 13 bedrooms instead of six, additional space for dining and drinking, a new kitchen and a new toilet block.