Parkend was once a hive of industrial activity with a large tin plate works, coke yards, cinder tips and railways and tramways threading their way through the complexes. The British Lion Inn was on the Ivy Moor Head Branch Tramway leading onto the Parkend Coal Company’s Tramway. Over time the once industrial landscape of Parkend has changed beyond recognition and it is impossible to visualise how the now picturesque village once looked.
Intriguingly the British Lion was tied to the Cirencester Brewery in 1891- as far as I have ascertained it was the only pub selling Cirencester beers in the Forest of Dean. Their motivation must have been the captive trade from men working in the hot environment of the nearby furnaces and tin works. The logistics and economics of transporting casks of Cirencester beer the considerable distance from the Cotswolds to the Forest of Dean may be the reason why Cirencester Brewery sold the British Lion to rival brewers Godsell & Sons of Salmon Springs, Stroud who were owners of the pub in 1903. At least Godsell’s already owned and supplied a few pubs in the Forest of Dean.
Gloucester Journal, November 1884) – British Lion, Parkend, near Lydney. To Be Let, in going £35 and free for spirits; immediate possession. Apply to Cirencester Brewery.
The annual rateable value of the British Lion was £12.0s.0d. and it was licensed as an ale house. Closing time was at 10 pm.
The British Lion closed in 1922, surviving the demise and closure of the Parkend tin works. The approximate site of the British Lion is where the Parkend Workingmen’s Club now stands in Lion Row, just off Yorkley Road.
Landlords at the British Lion include:
1856 H. Courteen (British Queen)
1876,1881 Mary Edwards (aged 45 in 1881, occupation Inn keeper)
1885 James Rees
1891 Thomas Alfred Dyke
1902 Mrs Julia Porter
1903, 1919 James Gwynne