The 1891 and 1903 petty sessional divisional records refer to an unnamed beerhouse in Shipton Moyne with off sales only. The premises was also the village stores and post office and was locally known as ‘the Ale House’. It was purchased by the Stroud Brewery from the Estcourt estate in 1924 and subsequently gained a full licence. The unusual name comes from the Victorian novel ‘Handley Cross’ by Surtess, which recalls the tales of John Jorrocks, a sporting grocer. Apparently, Stroud Brewery wanted to call the inn the Escourt Arms but the proposed name was met with disapproval from the local squire.

The pub was originally an off-licence and Post Office and belonged to the Lord of the Manor. It became the village pub in 1926 when it was bought by the Stroud Brewery and Esme Ball’s father, Arthur Budd, took over. [detail from the Citizen newspaper 22.11.84)]

In November 1984 Harold Ball and his wife Esme handed over the running of the Cat & Custard Pot to their daughter Valerie and her husband Ken.

The Cat and Custard Pot was bought from Whitbread in 1989 by landlord, Ken Grey.

Western Daily Press, 11th November 2016 – Honouring pub’s ‘Dad’s Army’ past: A new B&B Inn in the Cotswolds has named one of its five new rooms The Home Guard after the manager learned that the pub was used by volunteer fighters during the Second World War. The Cat and Custard Inn in Shipton Moyne, near Tetbury was used as a base for the village’s defence organisation during the conflict.

Current manager Francois Pieters found out in a discussion with the previous landlord, Ken Grey, who discovered various items and ephemera when he took over the pub in 1984. “We found canvas stretchers, lots of gas masks and tin helmets, the round ones that you associate with programmes like Dad’s Army,” Mr Grey said. “There were also boxes of live ammunition and pitch forks hanging on the wall, ready for if the Nazi’s ever landed in the area it was incredible. The live ammo went to the licensing authorities and I am sad to say that all the stretchers were in disrepair. The helmets were used as flower pots for a while, but I don’t think there are any left now.”

The discovery was not the only link the pub has to the wartime past, as Mr Pieters explained: “I took over earlier this year and locals have informed me that we used to have an aircraft searchlight at the back of the pub,” he said. “We still get [military and war] enthusiasts now coming in asking if they can see it. Sadly it was removed some time ago.

Mr Pieters was brought on board by the Cat & Custard Pot’s new owners who bought the traditional inn last year from Mr Grey. Since then it has undergone a makeover that, as well as a new dining room and restroom facilities, has seen the upstairs living accommodation transformed into five luxurious bed and breakfast rooms, one of which, at the back of the building, was where the wartime ephemera was discovered and will be called The Home Guard room.

“It is extremely intreresting to learn more about the pub’s history and it will be an honour to name the room after a part of that,” Mr Pieters added.

The Home Guard was established in 1940 and composed of 1.5 million local volunteers otherwise ineligible for military service, such as those too young or too old to join the services, or those in reserved occupations – hence the nickname “Dad’s Army”. Their aim was to try and slow down the advance of the enemy, even by a few hours, in order to give the regular troops time to regroup.

The Citizen, Thursday 16th February 2017: The Cat & Custard Pot in Shipton Moyne near Tetbury has cast its net to reel in its new head chef. Fifty three year old Paul Carpenter has joined the B&B inn to head up a new kitchen team after a career on the coast. He started with training at Cornwall Catering College before entering the kitchens of the region’s famous four-star Greenbank Hotel and the gastro-pub The Trengilly Wartha Innin Falmouth.

Manager Francois Pieters said: “Paul is a great cook and brings a wealth of experience. Regulars and guests do not come to the Cat & Custard for foams on plates and complicated shapes, they come here to eat great pub food and that is hopefully what we achieve.The dining rooms are one of the areas of the pub that has been rejuvenated in the last year and the food reflects the new clean and comforting setting and finish.”

The Citizen, Thursday 6th January 2022 – Royal Welcome by Janet Hughes (edit):

The Cat & Custard Pot has reportedly won the favour of the future king, but commoners are treated like royalty too at this friendly Cotswolds pub.

Once you’ve heard it, that’s it. It’s in your brain forever. Not an Abba earworm, but the fact that Prince Charles’s favourite pub is called The Cat & Custard Pot. So naturally when you find yourself in the area looking for a pub lunch, the unusual name springs to mind. And once inside the cutesy Cotswold inn, which is in a traditional chocolate box Cotswold village just down the road from Charles’ Highgrove estate, it’s impossible not to reflect on the fact that this is rumoured to be where the heir a rto the throne comes to escape it all. You stare at the single, highly polished wooden stool in front of a row of old-fashioned beer pumps and wonder if this is where the royal bottom is planted after a hard day hedge-laying on his country estate next door.

Was the little snug bar where William and Harry hid out of the way on their much-publicised pub crawls with friends?

Over the years, three cottages have been sympathically knocked into one and the trio of families that now own it have resisted the temptation to create one large open space in favour of keeping a series of interconnecting cosy rooms.

Not surprisingly, the decor is traditional rustic with wooden floors, low ceilings, matt neutral paint, William Morris wallpaper, log burners and artwork reflecting country life. Upholstered banquettes and chairs upped the comfort factor without distracting from their understated surroundings and modern tungsten lighting give it a warm ambience.

This traditional country pub in Shipton Moyne is certainly fit for an off-duty future king and his queen looking to escape the royal razzmatazz. But it’s also affordable and welcoming for the common people too.

Map Reference: ST 890895

Licensing Details:

Owner in 1891: Reverend R.H.B. Estcourt (free from brewery tie)

Rateable value in 1891: £12.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Beerhouse (off sales only)

Owner in 1903: George T.J. Sotheron Estcourt (free from brewery tie)

Rateable value in 1903: £12.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Beerhouse (off sales only)

Closing time in 1903: 10pm

Landlords at the Cat and Custard Pot include:

1891 Charles Jeffrey

1903 Sarah Jeffrey

1924 Mrs Jeffrey

1926 Mr and Mrs Arthur Budd

1952-1982 Harold and Esme Ball (Ken Grey’s parents-in-law)

1982,2006 Ken and Val Grey

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