The Beaufort Arms is located on the site of a toll gate. As can be seen by the photographs the triangular frontage of the original turnpike building c.1820 is remarkably similar to the façade of the pub, although the rest of the building has changed beyond recognition. Was the toll gate incorporated into the building, or is the triangular frontage an architectural copy?
Cheltenham Original Brewery were the owners of the Beaufort Arms in 1891 and 1903. Licensed as an ale house it had an annual rateable value of £28.15s.0d. in 1903 increasing by the sum of one pound to £29.15s.0d. in 1903.
The Beaufort Arms was purchased by Wadworth of Devizes in 1981 but had been leased to the Wiltshire brewery for many years before that.
A 10ft by 4ft mural was painted on the wall of the pool room in September 1999 by local artist Rob Russell. The artwork was a homage to Cheltenham Town Football Team and captured the moment when Jamie Victory scored the winning goal against Yeovil in the Vauxhall Conference League. ‘Robins’ manager Steve Cotterill and members of the Cheltenham Town football squad officially unveiled the artwork. Landlord Ray Steger said: “Rob’s done a brilliant job. This means no one will ever forget when the Robins made it into the league.”
When thieves broke into the Beaufort Arms in November 1999 and stole a huge whisky collection bottle which was chained to the bar, the ‘Beaufort Barmy Army’ of Cheltenham Town football fans came to the rescue. The whisky bottle contained about £600 that had been collected for a Pensioners Trip. Supporters at the following Robins’ match against Macclesfield Town raised £515 towards the fund. Pensioner Syd Cooper said: “We thought we’d lost this trip so we’re very pleased with the news. As pensioners we don’t get out much and this is one of the things we can really enjoy.”
In January 2002 rising stars from the Folk Music scene, Kathryn Roberts and Sean Lakeman performed at the Beaufort Arms. The Cheltenham Folk Club regularly met at the pub at the time.
Wadworth later disposed of the Beaufort Arms and, for a while, the pub operated as a free house. A planning application was submitted to Cheltenham Borough Council in November 2017 for conversion of the upper floors as residential flats and the erection of a three-bedroom dwelling to the rear following the demolition of outbuildings. Crucially, however, the plans included the retention of the ground floor as a public house. An ACV (Asset of Community Value) was secured and the Cheltenham Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale expressed their concerns that the promised retention of the Beaufort Arms as a public house would materialise.
Thankfully the Beaufort Arms has retained its licence and, after a period of closure, is now successfully trading again albeit on a smaller scale.
Landlords at the Beaufort Arms include:
1830 Jno. Dudfield
1856 J. Clifford
1885,1891 John Price
1902 George Capon
1903 John Aldridge
1906,1919 John Aldridge
1927 William Francis Bullock
1982 Eric Clark
1988 Clive and Sharon Horne
1999,2007 Ray and Sue Steger
2014,2017 Lisa Barnes