The Anchor Vaults was situated on the corner of Warwick Place and Winchcomb Street. The pub was the ‘tap house’ of the adjoining Anchor Brewery which was established in 1819. W.J. Clinch is recorded as brewer in 1878.
James Henry Wheeler was born in Cheltenham c.1846. In the 1881 census he is listed as a Master Brewer at the Anchor Brewery in Warwick Place, but just two years later he was declared bankrupt. The Anchor Brewery was put up for sale by auction on Friday 29th June 1883. In brief the brewing plant consisted of a 23-barrel copper, together with a 1- barrel copper, large ‘egg-ended’ boiler, a 6-horse-power vertical steam boiler and a 4-horse-power horizontal steam engine. Also included in the sale was about 450 casks and 1,500 gallons of ale and stout.
The Anchor Brewery and attached ‘wine and spirit vault’ was purchased by John Langford Righton. He was also the owner of the Harp Inn at 270 High Street (original numbering) and White Horse Inn in Townsend Place. Unfortunately J.L. Righton also fell upon hard times and was also declared bankrupt in 1891 with debts relating to the Anchor Brewery amounting to £288.10s.7d.
Henry Pointer was the owner of the Anchor Inn in 1891, with John Langford Righton in occupation. The annual rateable value was £20.5s.0d. and the Anchor Inn was licensed as an alehouse.
Twelve years later in 1903 the Anchor Inn had been acquired by Arnold, Perrett & Co., Ltd, brewers of Wickwar in South Gloucestershire. The annual rateable value had increased by nine pounds and ten shillings to £29.15s.0d. The Anchor Inn closed in 1920.
In March 2006 an application submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council to demolish the former brewery buildings was granted permission. The buildings had last been in use as a sign writing business – Signcraft. Barrie Stow, planning committee chairman for the Civic Society said: “We didn’t feel there was anything there of great merit to warrant its retention.” A spokesman for Cheltenham Borough Council said: “The proposed development involves the demolition of an unlisted but historic building in the conservation area. There’s a presumption against demolition unless the retention of the building is structurally ad financially impractical. Every reasonable effort has been made to dispose of the building to someone prepared to retain and restore it.”
Whilst in use as commercial premises there was nothing to indicate its previous use as a brewery. The original structure had long been substantially altered beyond recognition. The building was knocked down in 2009 but two years later in July 2011 the site had not been developed, prompting complaints that it had become an ‘eyesore’. The rubble was cleared along with some fly-tipping that had taken place on the site.
A new building containing six two-bedroom apartments and ground floor offices now occupy the site of the old Anchor Brewery.
The building that housed the Anchor Vaults still stands and is currently occupied by the ‘Paint-It-Yourself-Pottery Co’ (76 Winchcombe Street)
Landlords at the Anchor Inn / Vaults include:
1878 W.J. Clinch
1883 James Henry Wheeler – listed as a brewer
1891 John Langford Righton (Anchor Inn)
1903,1906 Arnold Halsey (Anchor Inn)
1919 Mrs Clara Cleaveley