Over 150 years ago the Bayshill Inn brewed its own beer. In 1856 William and Samuel Stinchcombe are recorded as brewers at the Bayshill Brewery. Samuel Stinchcombe died on November 22nd 1870, and it is possible that brewing on the premises then ceased. Cheltenham Original Brewery owned the Bayshill Inn in 1891. Perhaps the local brewers were keen to acquire the Bayshill Inn and Brewery to secure another outlet for Cheltenham Ales & Stouts. To the rear of the pub is a brick out-building, once used for stabling horses, which might have also been the old Bayshill Brewery.
The Bayshill Inn had an annual rateable value of £34.0s.0d. in 1891 and 1903 and was licensed as an ale house.
Whitbread owned the Bayshill Inn in the late 1970’s but it was operated by Wadworth & Co. of Devizes on an exchange agreement. Trevor and Brenda Wren were legendary landlords at the Bayshill, who started selling pints of 6X behind the bar in 1972. In 1980 it was noted that Trevor was selling ten thirty-six gallon casks beer a week. In the early days of the resurgence of popularity of real ale the Bayshill was a mecca for discerning beer drinkers. Trevor and Brenda retired from the Bayshill Inn in 1994. Trevor passed away in November 2000.
On July 16th 1987 Cheltenham Borough Council recommended the demolition of the Bayshill Inn to facilitate the construction of an inner ring road through the site. The plans were greeted with dismay. A campaign was launched to ‘Save the Bayshill’. A petition with nearly 1,000 signatures was presented to the Council. Decameron, a well-known Cheltenham based folk band, reformed under the amusing name of the Bayshill Rollers – a wordplay on the Bay City Rollers – to record a protest single ‘Save the Bayshill’ which was recorded in March 1979. Proceeds received from the sale went to a local children’s charity. The campaign even had the support of the Conservative MP for Cheltenham, Charles Irving, who simply said: “Why should we cause stress to a well-established institution like the Bayshill?” The proposed plans were eventually withdrawn.
Derek Goddard was a raconteur and regular columnist for the ‘Gloucestershire Echo’. In his weekly column he often remarked about life as he saw it from the bar in his local pub, the Bayshill. In July 1997 he lamented the loss of the pub’s skittle alley and other changes at his local: “The bar, a pleasant shade of Formica, has been replaced by a wooden one and the back room has been walled off. The outside toilets, a feature of the old place, have been ripped down and the idea is to build a new loo indoors. Where the skittles alley would have been, an ominously large square room has appeared behind a door and I have heard it referred to as the new lounge. The old lounge was merely the other side of a short dividing wall and tapered away towards the darts board and contained a pinball machine. It was rarely called a lounge. It was rarely called anything. We may also have to decide whether to rename The New Bayshill before they call it something extra-special like the Snail and Cabbage or some such.”
Nearly two years later Derek Goddard wrote in his column about his concerns for the future of the Bayshill. He wrote in June 1999: “The great fear is that some things will happen to change the character of the place, which has been zealously protected for many years despite the heavy rebuilding it has undergone. The Bayshill, we reckon, is one of the last street-corner pubs left in the town, and ‘pub’ is the operative word. We want it to stay that way. It is not a wine bar or a niterie and I hope I speak on behalf of most of us who want to see long-standing values and principles maintained. We have been assured they will be. You don’t have to be an old fogey to appreciate something good and the Bayshill has always been a good, solid pub. It is not trendy or for trendies, and that has been its great strength over the years.”
Smoking in pubs was still common in public houses in 2003. The smoking ban was not enforced by law until July 2007. Geoffrey Adams, the landlord of the Bayshill in 2003, was concerned that a potential smoking ban would harm trade. He said: “I’d go as far to say that 95 per cent of my customers smoke. There are only a few who don’t and they tend to seek seats in the corners so they can avoid the smoke. If it becomes law then we will have to enforce it but I don’t think many people would be happy about it.”
A distinctive painted mural on the wall of the public bar which featured characters that frequented the pub in the 1970’s, including landlord and landlady Trevor and Brenda Wren, was painted over in 2004.
Lisa Barnes took over the Bayshill as manager in July 2011. Lisa managed the pub on behalf of Dale Allison who ran the Yew Tree in Conderton (another Wadworth tied house). She said: “It’s a good old-fashioned English pub where you can come in and chat to people at the bar. There is a really friendly atmosphere.”
The Bayshill Inn was shut for a week in February 2013 for interior refurbishment, and in June an application was submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council for ‘change of use and internal alterations to rear wing to create function room, bar and pool room. Landlady Lisa Barnes said: “Having a function room, pool room and new bar could make a big difference. It would enable us to host weddings, which is something there is a definite need for.
An electrical fault in a fuse box at the basement of the pub caused a fire on January 5th 2014. Flames spread through the floorboards and it took more than 20 fire fighters to bring the blaze under control, and they battled for three hours to secure the building. Station commander Dave Pike said: “We quickly established that the fire was in the basement and likely to be caused by electrical faults. All of the crews worked together and thanks to the early call from the Bayshill we were able to limit the damage caused.” Luckily no one was injured in the fire. Asbestos in the cellar ceiling was damaged necessitating specialist contractors to safely remove it. The damage was estimated at £100,000. After weeks of working around the clock to repair the fire ravaged pub the Bayshill opened again on the 22nd February. At the time Lisa Barnes also ran the Beaufort Arms in London Road (see below) and organised a football match between the two pubs which raised over £1,000 for the Firefighters’ Charity. Firemen were also invited to the pub’s reopening.
A distinctive and impressive colourful mural was painted on the side of the pub during the second Cheltenham Paint Festival in September 2018. Californian artist Beau Stanton created a gigantic painting of an archer which still graces the side of the Bayshill today.
Landlords at the Bayshill Inn include:
1844 Thomas Clark (Bayshill Inn, 1 St Georges Terrace)
1856 William & Samuel Stinchcombe
1859 William Stinchcombe
1870 Samuel Stinchcombe
1883,1885 E. Land (Mrs)
1891 Frank Fowler Salmon
1902,1906 George Thomas Ryland
1919 Thomas Orton
1926,1927 Ernest W. Mondon
1972-1994 Trevor and Brenda Wren
1994-1999 Ian Phillips
2000,2003 Geoff Adams
2004 Frederick Boxall
2014,2017 Lisa Barnes