The Anchor is located on the eastern bank of the River Severn. It is located in a beautiful spot where the River Severn arches round in a Westerly direction and the vast open countryside of the Severn Vale stretches out before you, crowned in the distance by the hills of the Forest of Dean.
The licensing records of 1903 shows that it was then owned by Ind Coope & Co. of Burton on Trent. However, the Anchor Inn had a long association with Stroud Brewery / West Country Breweries / Whitbread. It may have been sold by Ind Coope to Stroud Brewery sometime after 1903.
Gloucester Journal: June 23rd 1877 – Selling his wife: A correspondent writes that on Monday afternoon some men were drinking at the Anchor Inn, Epney, when one of them agreed to sell his wife, who was present and assented to the proposition. A purchaser was not so readily found as might have been expected from the personal attractions of the lady. She was, however, eventually bought for threepence and was taken away by her purchaser. But she did not adhere to the contract and returned to her lawful husband in two hours.
Herbie was the name given to a glass fibre and steel tree in the garden of the Anchor Inn which incorporated a childrens slide. Landlord Barrie Knowles told the Citizen in September 1984 “Herbie stands out like a lighthouse overlooking the Severn and gives hours of pleasure to customers of all ages.”
Gloucester Citizen. 18th July 2015: Meet the landlord
Running a pub next to an iconic natural landmark such as the River Severn can make life interesting. The Anchor Inn in Epney enjoys stunning views across the river to the Forest of Dean – one which attracts customers from miles around. It is also a popular spot to watch surfers tackle the Severn Bore when it passes through the county. But as landlord and landlady Andy and Joan Lyes learned 25 years ago, The Anchor’s picturesque location can have its pitfalls.
Andy can still remember the summer’s day in 1990 when the Severn spilled over and flooded his treasured pub. Water from the river came over the sea wall and inundated many homes and businesses in the small village. The anchor, which has stood in Epney since the 18th century was the hardest hit. the pub’s lounge and cellar were under a foot of water which prompted the community to rally round to make sure The Anchor opened that day. Andy said: “The water came over the sea wall and flooded right through the village. People always come and help here if there’s a disaster. We had to get people to pump the cellar out and we had to rip the carpets up. The kitchen was flooded as well.”
The incident prompted improved flood defences to be installed outside the pub, including a raised sea wall. Andy said Epney hs not experienced a flood as bad since. “Lying by the river gives the pub a great character,” said Andy. “When the weather is nice people love sitting outside. There are beautiful views across the Severn and the Forest.”
Andy and Joan have been at The Anchor’s helm for 28 years and, in that time, have turned the pub into a favourite for villagers and tourists. Andy said the pub had a poor reputation when he took it over but he and his wife have turned it around after years of working seven-day weeks and overseeing a new bar area being built. The pub has a restaurant area, which is known as the Cricket Bar and is decorated with pictures of former England and Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Jack Russell and signed bats.
The Anchor is also popular with Gloucester Rugby fans and the second half of the pub is dedicated to the sport and decorated with shirts and memorabilia of Kingsholm in days gone by.
Former mechanic Andy was born in nearby Framilode and has lived in the area for most of his life. The landlord, who is passing on the day-to-day running of The Anchor to his daughter Sally and son-in-law Rob, said: “We just want to keep the pub going. This is what the community wants to see. The Anchor is an atmosphere pub, not like ‘plastic’ modern pubs.”
Map Reference: SO 762110
Rateable Value in 1891: £19.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1891: George Jones (free from brewery tie)
Rateable Value in 1903: £28.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Ind Coope & Co., Burton on Trent
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Anchor Inn include:
1856 James Cook
1885,1891 George Jones
1897 James Berry
1903, 1919 Thomas Edward Stephens
1927 Reginald Thould
1930’s Mr Rogers
1984 Barrie Knowles
1987, 2015 Andy and Joan Lyes