Advertisement in the Stroud Free Press of January 13th 1854: Crown Hotel, Minchinhampton. One mile from the Brimscombe Station. Private Apartments for families with a direct access through the park to Minchinhampton Common, whence commanding views are obtained of the Vale of Berkeley, and the River Severn extending to the Forest of Dean, the Welsh & Malvern Hills etc. etc. Terms moderate. Saddle and Post Horses, Gigs, Flys, etc. etc For Hire. The Salubrity of the situation of Minchinhampton is well known, and the fact stated by the Registrar General in his report, that Cholera is to be found less fatal in proportion to the elevation of the site, will give to this beautiful locality an additional attraction.

Advertisement. 1854.

Note the obscure, and somewhat dubious, reference to the high elevation of the town and the lessened risk of dying from cholera. An excellent excuse to stay the safe environment of the Crown Hotel and drink copious amounts of Playnes’ Forwood Beer! The local brewery was acquired by the Stroud Brewery Company in 1897 and Stroud Beers were sold at the Crown for the next 70 years.

Courtesy Nailsworth Town Archives
Courtesy Paul Best

The Citizen: 10th December 1997 – Town pub set to re-open: Minchinhampton drinkers will be lifting a pint before Christmas at The Crown Inn, promise its owners. Locals at the High Street pub were left with the prospect of a dry Christmas when the Aussie landlord Rex Andrews packed his bags and left town last month, Rumours spread quicker than wild fire which placed Mr Andrews and his truck as far away as Dover and as close as Nailsworth.

But this week Kenneth Lock appeared before Stroud magistrates to apply for a ‘protection’ order on the licence of the pub. It is now planned that the doors will be open once again to thirsty Minchinhampton residents sometime this week. “We are trying to get it open before Christmas,” said Derek Kirby, regional manager of Enterprise Inns. “We have recognised the local need and are making the re-opening our main priority,” he said. In the New Year, Enterprise Inns plan to evaluate the pub to decide what the local needs are and what improvements need to be made.

Stroud News & Journal: 2nd December 1998 – Crown Inn glory as pub re-opens with new image: An historic 18th century pub is open again for business and its new licensees say they are here to stay. The Crown Inn in Minchinhampton opened its doors on Saturday after a major refurbishment and renovation carried out by owners Enterprise Inns plc, in conjunction with new licensees Rose Newby and Richard Spence.

The troubled pub, which has had a number of licensees in recent years, is now under new license and is open for business. It will be dishing up food from December 12th. “We were busy on Saturday and people seemed generally impressed.” said Rose, who has been in the pub trade for 20 years. “We are very pleased with the way people have responded to the place and ourselves. They have made us feel very welcome.”

The couple left a pub in Sheffield to move to Minchinhampton. “We came down to the village and fell in love with it,” said Rose, who is a fellow of the British Institute of Inn Keepers. “We could see the potential and knew it needed lots of tender loving care.” The pool table and juke box have been removed and rooms have been knocked through. Beer fans could benefit from the changeover, as Richard is keen to promote real ales once the pub is fully up and running.

And local groups are being invited to hold meetings at The Crown. “We are keen to encourage local associations to treat us as a meeting place.” Rose said.

The modern sign which hangs at the front of the building in the High Street is to be replaced with one to match the original 18th century sign and mark the start of a new licence.

Stroud News & Journal, – Pub invites people to Folk Night: The Crown Inn, Minchinhampton, will hold its first folk night on Tuesday, December 2nd 1999. The Barn Bar opens at 8.30pm. Admission will be £2. The pub is now run by Richard and Rose Spence, who took over at The Crown Inn a year ago, and have made many improvements in the time they have been there.

Setting up a new folk venue for Gloucestershire is their latest venture since their arrival. Alan Burke, local singer and songwriter, is guest artist ably supported by Scottish two-piece, Keltz. The intention is to hold future folk nights on the last Thursday of each month.

Image Courtesy Dave Kirby

The Citizen: 8th March 2014 – Villagers at a loss as local suddenly closes its doors (by Jo Barber): Regulars are bemoaning the sudden closure of a pub in their village near Stroud. Frequent customers and beer buffs alike are missing the camaraderie of The Crown Inn in Minchinhampton, which unexpectedly shut its doors a week ago. The Crown’s owner Enterprise Inns is looking for a new operator for the business, according to a spokeswoman for the company.

“The Crown Inn has the potential to be a great community local, and we are actively recruiting for a longer-term publican with the passion and drive to engage with the villagers and develop the business,” she said.

Former landlord of The Crown, Niall McInerney, who previously ran the now shut Halfway Inn at nearby box, was unavailable for comment. One Crown regular said: “We have no idea what’s happened. It is right in the middle of the town – the only one in the centre.” Local brewer Greg Pilley said the closure was a loss to the community. “Pubs are the hub for all manner of reasons. It is not good to lose a pub,” he said. “Of course we would also lament the commercial loss of a customer,” said Mr Pilley, boss of Stroud Brewery.

A Monday morning coffee group met at the Crown because the village’s cafes did not open at that time. “I should think they’re upset,” he added. “I’ve heard they’re having to meet at each other’s homes,” a resident said. Over the years The Crown also hosted clubs and societies, including a folk club and Probus. Its location on the central and historic Market Square also meant The Crown took centre stage at the Minchinhampton Country Fayre, held every other year.

Enterprise is asking for an introductory rent of £20,000 a year, or £385 a week, with in-going costs of £12,250. The Crown has three en-suite letting bedrooms, private accommodation for its operators, a barn as a function rom, a bar with 30 covers and a lounge dining area with 30 to 40 covers. Outside there is limited car parking and a patio garden.

Within living memory three other pubs have closed in Minchinhampton – The Ram, The Swan and The Trumpet – although the private members’ Minchinhampton Club offers alternative bar facilities and has quicly extended its opening hours during The Crown’s closure. There is also the Old Lodge nearby.

Stroud News & Journal, 10th January 2018 – Pub Meeting: A public meeting will give Minchinhampton people the chance to discuss saving the last pub in the town. The meeting about The Crown Inn will take place at Minchinhampton Market house at 2pm on Saturday, January 20th.

It is being called by Minchinhampton Parish Council to enable a group of residents to present their ideas for re-opening The Crown, which closed in 2012. Earlier the parish council registered The Crown as an Asset of Community Value. Then, just before Christmas, the pub’s owners Ei Publican Partnerships announced they would sell the freehold. That triggered legislation which now means the community, backed by the council, has until June 19th 2018 to organise itself, raise funds, and possibly make a bid to buy and run The Crown.

Specialist estate agents Fluerets, who are advertising The Crown, are currently expecting offers over £700,000 for the entire property in its current state. The decisions to register an interest in bidding for The Crown, and to hold the public meeting, were taken by Minchinhampton Parish Council on Monday evening. Chairman of the parish council Nick Hurst said: “My view is that however this project is taken forward it has to be commercially viable and professionally run.”

Stroud News & Journal: Wednesday, June 27th 2018 – Community bid to save pub a race against time: (by Alex Clark) A bid to protect a beloved Minchinhampton pub has a new urgency – its current owners can now sell it to whoever they want, potentially for redevelopment. When Ei Publican Partnerships moved to sell the 300-year-old Crown Inn last year, it triggered a six-month window to give a community-led group time to put in an offer, but this ended on Tuesday, June 19th. Sale of the pub was paused because the town’s parish council got the pub designated as an Asset of Community Value, endowing it with additional protections under the 2011 Localism Act.

Minchinhampton Crown Inn Limited was set up shortly afterwards by a group of patrons to do just that, with an initial offering for those living in the town of up to 12,000 shares priced at £100 each. The Crown Inn closed in 2012, though it opened its doors briefly to actor Keeley Hawes for the filming of a mini-series adaption of J.K. Rowling’s Casual Vacancy in 2014. So far MCI Ltd have raised £200,000 from more than 300 donors, with even expats from nine countries chipping in. The directors have also embarked on fundraising events, getting some practice at pint pulling when they held a pop-up bar on Saturday, June 9th in Minchinhampton’s Market House.

Even though the protected period is over, the directors of MCI Ltd say they “will carry on trying to save The Crown,” according to their Facebook page. They suspect another organisation has now put in a bid for the pub.

When asked for comment, an Ei Publican Partnership spokesman said: “We are currently talking to a number of interested parties looking to buy the freehold of The Crown, Minchinhampton, and hope to agree terms shortly. In the meantime, MCI Ltd are now widening their quest for cash by reaching out to businesses and bigger donors in the area. “It would be fantastic to have Minchinhampton royals on board – though I expect they’re quite busy with the new baby,” said Simon.

Stroud News & Journal: Wednesday September 26th 2018 – Co-founder of Superdry buys Community Pub (by Alex Clark) A 300-year-old pub in Minchinhampton has been sold to one of the cofounders of fashion label Superdry. The purchaser of The Crown Inn, Dunkerton Properties LLP, was set up by Julian Dunkerton but left the company earlier this year. Dunkerton Properties is the property owning arm of the Lucky Onion Group, which runs other pubs across the Cotswolds, including the Wild Duck in Cirencester and The Wheatsheaf Inn in Northleach.

The pub, which closed in 2012, was sold to Dunkerton Properties by Ei Publican Partnerships. A group set up by Minchinhampton residents to save the 300-year-old pub from development welcomed the sale. Simon Witney, a director of the group, told members: “We are delighted to announce that the Crown Inn has been sold! The new owners are, as some of you have begun to know (or guess correctly?) the Lucky Onion Group. We at Minchinhampton Crown Inn Ltd are naturally delighted with this outcome: they seem to be a fantastic business, and run a number of really good pubs and restaurants. We also think that they will be just the right sort of owners for The Crown – and of course for everyone in Minch! Let’s all support them to the best of our ability, and make them most welcome.”

Stroud News & Journal: 24th October 2019 – Minchinhampton pub set to open next month: A historic pub bought by a co-founder of fashion label Superdry will reopen next month. Entrepreneur Julian Dunkerton snapped up The Crown in Minchinhampton in September 2018 to add to his Lucky Onion group of hotels, restaurants and pubs. Works to transform the 300-year old hostelry, which closed seven years ago, are almost complete. The much anticipated opening is set to take place on November 8th.

The renovation of the 18th century building, which originally opened in 1715, has retained the pub’s distinctive features while also adding signature design flourishes to bring The Crown up to date. Living up to its name, The Crown is best known as Princess Anne’s local and is a stone’s throw from Gatcombe Park. Welcoming guests just in time for winter, The Crown will be serving up an understated yet classic British menu from chef, Ronnie Bonetti.

The Crown Inn is now owned by Youngs Pub Co., who bought it from the Lucky Onion Pub Co. early in 2022. (See Stroud CAMRA report below).

Of all the pubs that once existed in the town of Minchinhampton, the 18th century Crown is now the sole survivor.

Licensing Details:

Map Reference: SO 873007

Owner in 1891: George Playne, Forwood Brewery, Minchinhampton

Rateable value in 1891: £15.5s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery

Rateable value in 1903: £15.5s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Full

Closing time in 1903: 10 pm

Owners in 1997: Enterprise Inns

Landlords at the Crown Inn include:

1842 William Furley

1856 Mrs M. Furley

1885,1902 Joseph Harman

1903 Frederick Youngs

1906 Edward William Barrett

1919,1927 William John Hutchings

1981-1991 James Polley

1987,1997 Rex Andrews

1998 Ken Locke

1999 Richard Spence and Rosemary Newbury

THE Crown at Minchinhampton has been named as Stroud CAMRA’s Pub of the Year 2021.

The historic pub was bought by a co-founder of fashion label Superdry, Julian Dunkerton in September 2018 to add to his Lucky Onion group of hotels, restaurants and pubs.

The Lucky Onion team renovated the 18th century building, which originally opened in 1715, retaining the pub’s distinctive features while also adding signature design flourishes to bring The Crown up to date.

It reopened in 2019. Commenting on winning the pub of the year title, a spokesman for the pub said: “A wonderful start to the New Year! We look forward to pouring perfect pints again soon.”

Tim Mars, of Stroud CAMRA said: “This is a sensational result for the Crown—the new kid on the block, the young pretender, which only reopened in 2019, and was included in the 2021 Good Beer Guide for the first time.

“What was remarkable—and unprecedented—was the number of ballots that included sometimes lengthy personal endorsements of the pub, and what its resurrection after a long absence means to Minchinhampton.”

One CAMRA member noted: “The Crown is such a lovely local pub to have in Minchinhampton, we are so lucky that Lucky Onion took up the job of restoring a huge part of the village that has been so sorely missed, after being closed for nearly seven years.”

And another wrote: “This pub has brought the life back into Minchinhampton!”

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