162 Gloucester Street in 1919 directory. The Anchor Inn closed in 1927 when Cirencester Magistrates refused to issue a renewal for the license. A petition against closure signed by 345 people was submitted in response.  The premises later became F.H. Hannis family Butchers. By the front door part of an ornamental mosaic can still be seen bearing the word ‘inn’. The remainder has been obscured by the replacement shop front. Cirencester local historians Rick Martin and Philip Griffiths told me that the original inn sign is in storage at the Corinium Museum.

A ’For Sale’ notice in November 1863 listed the amenities of a ‘large and lucrative business’ and included parlour bar, bar, kitchen, cellar, large club-room and four bedrooms. Annexed is a cottage, stable and covered skittle alley – formerly the Anchor Brewery.’

Wilts & Glos Standard: 4th October 2001: “The Way We Were” – Society uncovers the facts about the Anchor Inn: Cirencester Archaeological and Historical Society has just published its 42nd annual report and newsletter. Among the articles is an interesting account of one of Cirencester’s ‘lost’ public houses, The Anchor Inn. This inn, situated in Gloucester Street is first mentioned around 1800 as being in St Lawrence Ward and in those early days Mr Hutchings the landlord brewed his own beer. In 1820 William Ebsworth was the landlord followed by his son Francis, then Frederick Cripps of the Cirencester brewing family took the lease for 14 years from 1842. The property, and others adjoining, was owned by Lord Bathurst and Messrs Cripps bought the Anchor Inn from him in 1873 but by 1891 it was owned by Richard Bowly of Bowly’s Brewery, Swindon.

For reasons unknown the inn’s licence was revoked in 1927, despite a petition of 345 names claiming that Bowly’s only owned one pub in the town and this would reduce the choice of local beers. The property was eventually sold in 1931 to Edward Burge, a retired butcher, whence it passed on through a number of owners to Frederick Hannis whose name the empty butcher’s shop still displays. However, there is still a reminder of its days as a pub as there is part of a mosaic in the doorway with the word inn which used to form the entrance and have the full name of the Anchor Inn as a welcome to one of Cirencester’s lost hostelries.

Cirencester Pubs Through Time. Philip Griffiths (Amberley Publishing 2013)

“Many will remember this as F.H. Hannis’ butcher’s shop with the intriguing mosaic floor inlay of ‘Inn’ at the entrance. The will of Thomas Doudin in 1782 describing him as victualler and renovations from 2011 confirm this as the Anchor Inn. A free public house, a ‘For Sale’ notice in November 1863 listed the amenities of a ‘large and lucrative business’ and included parlour bar, bar, kitchen, cellar, large Club-room and four bedrooms. ‘Annexed is a Cottage, stable and covered skittle alley, formerly the Anchor Brewery.’ A choice of beer is important and from 1891 the Anchor was the only pub to be supplied by Richard Bowly’s North Wiltshire Brewery from Swindon. Threatened with closure in 1926, a petition by 345 enthusiasts failed to save the inn.”

Licensing Details:

Owner in 1891: Richard Bowly

Rateable Value in 1891: £14.5s.0d.

Type of license in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: R.B. Bowly & Co., North Wilts Brewery, Swindon

Rateable Value in 1903: £14.5s.0d.

Type of license in 1903: Alehouse

Closing time in 1903: 11pm

Landlords at the Anchor Inn include:

1820 Francis Ebworth

1830 William Ebworth (Anchor Tavern)

1840 (?) Fran. Ebworth

1856 D. Sheppard

1882 Henry Carter

1885 Richard Barry

1889 John Durham

1891 Henry William George Hinks

1902,1906 John Green

1919,1927 Albert Yeates (beers supplied by Bowly’s North Wilts Brewery in 1925)

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