There is a reference to an inn called the Bell in Lydbrook in 1792. It is also known that in 1808 a Friendly Society held their meetings at the Bell Inn. The pub was once frequented by workers from the nearby wire works who ‘would draw a nine-gallon barrel of cider or ale for their shift’s work’ – apparently working at a wire works was thirsty work!
In the 1891 and 1903 Gloucestershire licensing books the Bell Inn was trading free of brewery tie with an annual rateable value of £14.0s.0d. It was designated an alehouse and, in common with all the pubs in Lydbrook, closing time was scheduled for 10 pm. John Ward was the owner occupier in 1891, with ownership changing to Mrs Hanna Edwards in 1903.
Sometime before the First World War the Bell Inn was purchased by Francis Wintle’s Forest Brewery of Mitcheldean. In 1937 the Bell became part of the estate of the Cheltenham Original Brewery. The sale particulars detailed ‘a small yard, two closets and public urinal in the rear, a small garden in the front, and a vegetable garden in the rear and at the side, and also stone built stabling with loft over and all other outbuildings.’
In September 1967 a large crowd gathered outside the Bell Inn, Lydbrook, to see the drivers of Edwards’ Transport take part in a cider barrel rolling contest.
The property is now residential and still bears the name the Bell Inn. It is on the west side of the road in Central Lydbrook.
Landlords at the Bell Inn include:
1856, 1891 John Ward
1902 Mrs Hannah Jones
1903,1906 Mrs Hannah Edwards
1919 Leonard H. Jones
1927 Arthur T. Cooper
1937,1939 Mrs Mary Beard