The 17th Century Black Dog was once a farmhouse but it has been pub for well over 100 years.

Gloucester Journal – February 2nd 1884: A petition in bankruptcy has been filed in the Gloucester County court by William Wintle, of the Black Dog Inn, Newent, upon which a receiving order has been made.

The Black Dog can boast two resident ghosts – a ‘Lavender Lady’ and ‘Charlie’ – a headless Cavalier! The Lavender Lady is believed to be the unquiet spirit of one of the women who sold lavender nosegays to ward off the stench of unwashed England in the middle ages, and Charlie is believed to have been one of the unfortunate Royalists who lost his head during the English Civil War. There was a slaughter of Welsh soldiers fighting for the Royalist cause at nearby Barber’s Bridge which was originally names Barbarous Bridge.

The owner of the Black Dog in 1891 was Mary Holder and she leased the inn to Arnold, Perrett & Co. Ltd. of the Wickwar Brewery. Mary Holder is listed at the Red Lion in 1830.  The annual rateable value of the beer house was £14.10s.0d. Mary had passed the ownership of the Black Dog to the unfortunately named Fanny Holder in 1903. I wonder at the beginning of the 20th century the name Fanny has the same connotations as it does today.  Was Fanny Mary’s daughter? I suspect a girl born today with the family name of Holder would never have the embarrassment of that name!  Fanny Holder continued to lease the Black Dog to the Wickwar Brewery.  Closing time was at 11 pm. The resident landlord / occupier of the Black Dog in 1891 and 1903 was William Wintle. Was William a member of the Wintle’s Brewery family?

The ownership of the Black Dog Inn passed to Whitbread / Whitbread Flowers. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s it was a West Country House and a ‘West Country Ales – 1760 – Best In The West’ ceramic plaque remains in situ.

The Citizen, June 1971 – Trees and wall are victims of progress: The approach to the town of Newent from the direction of Gloucester will be greatly improved with the work of removing a high wall on a blind corner and improving the right-angled bend. As can be seen in the picture, workmen are removing trees in a garden adjoining the half-timbered Black Dog Inn in readiness for the widening process.

December 1974

The Citizen, 24th January 1983 – Popular Newent licensee dies: Mr Norman Duke, the popular landlord of the Black Dog Inn at Newent, has died in Frenchay hospital. He was 53. Mr Duke, who was born in Gloucester, started his working career as an engine cleaner on the railways. He became a fireman and then driver – driving both steam and diesel engines. He was the youngest train driver in the whole of the Western Region. While working for the railways, he was chairman of the local branch of the train-drivers’ union, ASLEF.

He left the railways and took charge of a pub in Reading but returned to Gloucester as licensee of the New Inn, London Road. In 1974 he left the licensing trade and moved to Pembrokeshire where he worked for three years before moving back to Gloucestershire and taking over the Black Dog.

Father of five Mr Duke was a great family man. His first grandchild is expected in two weeks’ time. His wife, Olive, is not yet certain whether she will carry on with the pub.

The Citizen, 11th October 1983 – Darts record bid fails: Eight darts players ran up more than half a million points in a 24-hour sponsored darts marathon in the Black Dog Inn, at Newent. Although they missed the 1.3 million point record by a mile, the players are claiming a “town record”. They also raised £350 for Liver Disease in Children, the charity chosen by events organisers Peter and Maureen Constable. The darts players were: Cliff Pearson, Mr Constable, Roger Mullinger, Tony Mortimer, Joe and Mike Dufffield, Mark Warren and Keith Gladwin. Black Dog landlord Simon Farrell allowed his pub to be used and local people and traders gave prizes to the raffle.

The Citizen, Wednesday 30th July 1986 – A special party: Simon and Gail Farrell of the Black Dog Inn, Newent, celebrated the Royal Wedding by holding a party for 80 children, including seven mentally handicapped youngsters from St. Oswald’s Home in Gloucester. The festivities included a magician, a Punch and Judy show and a bouncing castle. After tea, which included a cake iced in red, white and blue, each child was given a commemorative mug filled with sweets. A disco and barbeque in the evening ended off events.

August 2010

Bluemark Developments, on behalf of owners Punch Taverns, submitted an application to Forest of Dean District Council build five homes and garages in the car park of the Black Dog in 2013 but plans were withdrawn after an outcry from regulars and customers who argued that it would ruin the historic inn. Newent Town Council claimed that the plans were ‘detrimental to the entrance of this historic market town’. The developers went back to the drawing board to modify the plans, remarking “It is a private car park and not a public one, something many of the town seem to forget. It will be one of the main sights coming into town but that is not to say that the development will be of an unattractive design.” The Black Dog closed in June 2015

Total Design Ltd. acquired the Black Dog and argued in August 2017 that building homes on the site would preserve the pub for future generations. Angela Wadley of Total Design said, “The planning application will secure the long-term future of the Black Dog by providing on site owner/manager accommodation with good quality rooms for bed and breakfast, restaurant and public bar to attract the local community and bring it back to life. This will give long-term benefits to the local community, and also encourage tourism to the area. The provision of housing to the general car park area will provide much needed housing to assist with the current status of the five-year housing land supply.”

In March 2018 Dynamic Developments Ltd submitted two planning applications to the Forest of Dean Council relating to the Black Dog. The developers sought to renovate the 17th Century coaching inn interior with the creation of two new bedrooms, bathroom, kitchen and lounge on the second floor. The second application to build five two-bedroom homes in the car park was refused as the planners considered that the viability of the Black Dog as a business depended on the retention of its car park and they expressed their concerns over restricted garden sizes and the close proximity of existing houses that would be overlooked.

The Black Dog website states that it is ‘a recently re-furbished 18th century half-timbered pub located in the heart of Newent. We are a child friendly pub and welcome all members of the public including families and dogs. We have an open lounge and separate dining room with delicious daytime and evening meals. We like to keep our customers happy and entertained; we host evenings of live music, traditional pub games, have a large sports TV and offer all our customers free Wi-Fi. The pub features a sheltered outdoor smoking area and on-site parking.’

Landlords at the Black Dog Inn include:

1891,1903 William Wintle

1950 Guy Ford

1978 Norman Duke

1983 Simon and Gail Farrell

1998 Mandy Wright

2002 Burt and Jackie Wheatley

2011 Ian Bodman

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