Rufus Stone services
This service area was once defined by its large restaurant, but it's now just a hotel and a petrol station.
The signs make it clear this service area is called Rufus Stone, as that is what the forecourt was called. Many people including the current facilities here refer to it as 'Stoney Cross', the name of an old crossroads which is now applied to the whole area.
The site is connected to the local area by a public footpath. It is possible to walk to the Rufus Stone itself, which is difficult to access from the A31 westbound, but it's a 15-minute trek across the Forest.
Operators (Official Websites):
Trivia and History
Some old Little Chef branding.
The main building here, a little grand for a Travelodge, was originally the Compton Arms Hotel (which would have provided fuel too). It had its own restaurant which by the 1980s was called Tally Ho. There was a tourist information centre outside.
The area would have seen its value increased when the A31 was selected as the main road to the coast in the 1940s, when the dual carriageway here was opened in the 1960s (and the section to the west in 1975), and also when the M27 opened in 1972.
In 1987, the filling station was replaced and the building became a Little Chef and Travelodge as part of their rapid and immediate expansion. That restaurant once included a Little Chef Express, Burger King and Coffee Tempo!.
In the 2000s, the forecourt was branded Q8.
The Little Chef closed in March 2017, but then re-opened for a short period before the brand was taken away. The signs were taken down as it became an EG Diner, waiting for a permanent new brand. The EG Diner closed on 11 June 2018 and the building was then thoroughly refurbished, with a Greggs and Subway opening inside under EG Group branding.
By summer 2019 that Greggs and Subway had both closed, leaving just an empty building.
|Rownhams (M27, 9 miles)||Services on the A31||Picket Post (6 miles)|
|none nearby||Euro Garages services||Red Post (27 miles)|