The Eagle Brewery was once located immediately behind the British Oak. (Alan Neame, Eagle Brewery). The Nailsworth Brewery acquired the Eagle Brewery in 1897. The old brewery buildings were used for many years for prestige caravan manufacturing – Safari Caravans. The brewery buildings were demolished and flats now occupy the site.
The British Oak and the Canal Tavern, which was situated on the banks of the Stroudwater Canal, eschewed the products of the Eagle Brewery in favour of the larger Stroud Brewery Company. Joseph Benjamin Flight, landlord in 1891, had moved to the Sundial Inn by 1902.
Stroud News & Journal, Wednesday 5th July 2006 – Power goes out, as do England: Hundreds of England fans were spared the heartache of another unsuccessful penalty shootout on Saturday – as a power cut struck just seconds before the first spot-kick. While millions of viewers hid behind sofas or covered their eyes to spare the agony, fans in Bowbridge and Stroud bolted from their homes in search of the nearest car radio for the climax to the biggest match in four years.
Around 200 customers in the British Oak in London Road, Stroud poured from the pub into the car park to listen as the drama unfolded just after 6.30pm on Saturday. “People were groaning and desperately thinking of ways to see the game,” said landlord Dave Nicholl, 32. “Some were hanging over the balcony at the back of the pub trying to listen to the commentary from car radios.”
Mr Nicholl added that although he personally felt relieved to have been spared from another failed penalty shootout, his trade suffered as the bar emptied. “It killed the atmosphere and once people were outside it gave them an excuse to go home. I must have lost at least £500,” he said.
The Citizen, 2nd April 2018 – Pub review ‘Have your chips’ by Jo Barber: I’ve heard the pub with food slogan trotted out pre-recession by many precious and usually over-priced establishments. So you’ll be glad to hear the British Oak in Bowbridge really is a genuine pub with food and that it is astoundingly good value for money.
We popped in early on Friday evening and found the place packed with beer drinkers winding down for the weekend. During our stay the bar quietened as the after-work crowd went home then, as we were leaving, the folk arriving for a night out were beginning to arrive.
The Citizen, Tuesday 4th May 2010 – Inn is asking for permission: A Stroud pub is having to ask for planning permission for changes already made. The British Oak Inn, in London Road, Stroud, has applied to Stroud District Council for permission to remove a patio area and replace it with timber decking with marquee over – something already done. The retrospective application was made after work was completed in mid-March. Stroud District Council plans to have made a decision on the application by 21st June.
Stroud News, 10th October 2012 – Cheers! It’s the shop in a pub: Shoppers are stopping off for a pint after they’ve stocked up on groceries at an unusual new stores. The family-run British Oak pub has just expanded and opened Acorn Stores in a corner of its Bowbridge premises.
“We had a space there and thought we’d diversify, maybe draw in a few extra customers,” said Dale Nicholl who helps his mum and dad Carol and John run the inn. “We’ve actually already had new people who’ve come in for essentials like fresh fruit and veg, people who’ve never really been in before, but they’ve liked the look inside and stayed for a coffee or a drink,” Mr Nicholl said.
“Obviously it’s helping the local community too as well by creating a hub. From next month we’ll be promoting a café in here as well.”
The Citizen, 13th April 2016 – Pub closes weeks into venture: The Bowbridge Lock, a recently opened pub in Stroud has closed following a dispute. Formerly known as The British Oak, the pub in London Road reopened under the new name on Good Friday specialising in real ales.
However on Monday, Karen Davis and Malcolm Shipp, who were running the business, posted an announcement on Facebook saying they were now closed. “For legal reasons, we cannot go into too much detail of what happened other than the lease negotiations didn’t go as expected for either side,” they said. The statement also thanked staff and customers for their support.
John and Carol Nicholl, who own the lease on the building and the licence, are due to reopen the business at 4pm on Friday. The name of the pub has yet to be confirmed.
Stroud News & Journal, Wednesday 23rd November 2016 – Welcome to the Bowbridge Arms (advertisement): The former site of the British Oak in London Road, Stroud is set to open its doors once more [on Saturday 26th November] as the Bowbridge Arms under new ownership. Owner, Harry Counsell, has also run the Clothiers Arms in Bath Road for the past 16 years, leapt at the opportunity for a new challenge in a bid to try something different.
Manager, Suzie Smith, sad: “It’s somewhere for the locals, the community is in need of a local pub again which would mean that they don’t have to travel.” The newly-renovated pub will feature an extensive range of beers from Stroud Brewery and St Austell, as well as guest ales and still ciders.
The Gazette, Thursday 31st October 2019 – Cosy pub offers something a bit different to its competitors: (by Pub Spy) Real ale lovers in Stroud can count themselves lucky. From the Ale House to the Prince Albert to the Crown and Sceptre, to name just three, there are bitters, milds and stouts of the highest order. The Bowbridge Arms had not previously been on my list of go to watering holes, but it certainly is now. After learning it had been added to CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide for 2020 I decided I would visit at the earliest possible opportunity.
The range of real ale on offer isn’t the most extensive, but none of the three we tried disappointed. The Bowbridge offers pizzas as well as pub classics such as faggots, scampi and bangers and mash. With vegan options and daily specials there should be something to suit everyone.
It is certainly worth a visit now the long nights have arrived. The roaring fire and relatively small interior make for a very cosy atmosphere. There are even a couple of extra rooms off to the side. One equipped with a small pool table, something many pubs seem to be dispensing of these days, and another with a television and a number of sofas.
Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £21.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £25.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Landlords at the British Oak / Bowbridge Arms include:
1856 C. Little
1885 James Hill
1891 Joseph Benjamin Flight
1902,1927 Albert Spillard
1930’s Jack and Rose Crook
1939 John H. Crook
1981 Ivor & Joan Dugdale
2006 Dave Nicholl
2016 Karen Davis and Malcolm Shipp (briefly as Bowbridge Lock)
2016 Harry Counsell