The Burton Brewery Inn is listed at 21 St. James Square in 1902 directory. The property is now Burton House on the corner with Knapp Road.
Robert Burge is listed as a brewer at the Burton Brewery in 1883. The beers were probably brewed in the style of the popular pale ales from Burton on Trent, but inevitably a pale imitation using the Cheltenham town water supply. Robert was the owner of the pub in 1891 but by that year he had leased the Burton Brewery to Godsell & Sons, brewers at Salmon Springs in Stroud. Presumably giving the lease to Godsell’s enabled him to give up brewing on the premises. In 1891 the annual rateable value of the Burton Brewery Inn, a licensed beer house, was £55.5s.0d. Godsell’s had bought the leasehold in 1903 when the Burton Brewery Inn was in their tied estate. The annual rateable value had increased considerably, up nearly thirteen pounds to £68.0s.0d. in the intervening twelve years.
When Godsell & Sons were taken over by Stroud Brewery in 1928, the Burton Brewery Inn became part of the Stroud Brewery estate.
The Burton Brewery Inn would have been a convenient place to call in for a pint whilst waiting for your train as this was the nearest pub to Cheltenham St. James GWR railway station. Maybe locomotive crews and railway staff also visited the Burton Brewery Inn for a quick pint of Godsell’s or Stroud Beers.
In 1958 the pub became a West Country Breweries house and a ceramic ‘Best in the West’ plaque was inlaid into the wall. The Burton Brewery Inn closed in the mid 1970’s, approximately ten years after the last train left St James Station in January 1966.
Part of the premises then became the annexe of the neighbouring night club in St James Square, named Gas and Chemistry during its various incarnations. The nightclub has since closed and a few years ago some external renovations were being carried out on the frontage of the single storey building to the left of the Burton Brewery Inn. The ‘West Country Ales – 1760 – Best in the West’ ceramic plaque was either removed or stolen from the annexe during this cosmetic work. It is regrettable that so many of these fine plaques have mysteriously disappeared in the last decade, other lost examples being the nearby Royal Well Tavern and the old Hereford Arms in Winchcombe Street.
Landlords at the Burton Brewery Inn include:
1870 T. Burge
1878,1883 Robert Burge – listed as brewer in 1883
1891 James Wheeler
1902,1903 Frank Hopton Davis
1906 Henry Clark
1919 Harry Mizon
1926,1927 William Lee
1939 William G. Lee