The Butchers Arms, in the picturesque village of Sheepscombe, dates back to 1670. It is set in the heart of ‘Cider with Rosie’ country, made famous by Slad author Laurie Lee. It is believed that butchering went on at the site during Henry VIII’s reign as he hunted deer in the Sheepscombe valley.

Courtesy Phil Sampson

Courtesy Michael Wilkes

Courtesy Michael Wilkes

“Thou hast put all things under his feet, all Sheep and Oxen.”

The Butchers Arms inn sign is one of the most celebrated in the whole of England and Wales. It is a wooden carving of a butcher chasing a pig. The wooden sign had its first clean up and paint for decades in the summer of 2001.

The Citizen: Thursday 15th January, 1981 – Death of a former licensee: Mr Bill Halliday (68), former landlord of the Butchers Arms, Sheepscombe, has died after a short illness. He was one of the longest serving licensees in the Stroud district when he retired just over a year ago. Mr Halliday was born in the pub and his retirement ended a family link spanning more than a century. His parents and grandparents held the licence before him. Mr Halliday, a widower, lived with his son in Gloucester until he moved back to Sheepscombe last May to live with his sister. He had a lifelong association with the village cricket club, which has its headquarters at the pub. Mr Halliday is survived by his son, sister and brother.

Image: Gloucestershire Echo
Image: Gloucestershire Echo

The Butchers Arms was put up for sale by Whitbread brewery in 1990. In 1993 it was bought by Johnny Johnston, a local businessman and former civil engineer. It was the first pub in Johnny’s Blenheim Inn company (see Falcon Hotel, Painswick; Carpenters Arms, Miserden). In February 2007, upon the retirement of Johnny and Hilary Johnston from the pub trade, the Butchers Arms was purchased by Heartstone Inns. It was named Country Pub of the Year in 2007 in the Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards.

Despite its isolated position, accessed down narrow lanes, the Butchers Arms is successfully trading and is renowned for its excellent food and well-kept and varied real ales.

Image Courtesy Butchers Arms (Facebook)

Licensing Details:

Owner in 1891: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud

Rateable value in 1891: £9.15s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud

Rateable value in 1903: £9.15s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Owner in 1993-2007: Blenheim Inns

Owner in 2007: Heartstone Inns

Landlords at the Butchers Arms include:

1856 S. Halliday

1885 Richard Boulton

1891,1902 Edwin Halliday

1903,1906,1927 Francis Joseph Halliday

1939 Sophia Halliday (Mrs)

1979 Bill Halliday

1993 Johnny and Hilary Johnston

2004 Simon Nicholas (manager)

2007 Sharon and Mark Talents (managers)

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