The first mention of the Eliot Arms is from a deed dating 30th December 1871 when Robert Stanton sold the property to Messrs Cripps & Co of the Cirencester Brewery. At the time it was described as “that newly erected dwelling-house and inn called the Eliot Arms with barn, stables, outbuildings and yard, and also the cottage with pieces of ground on east and west”.

Courtesy Michael Wilkes
Courtesy Michael Wilkes

To the right of the main building is an attached ‘cottage’, which was originally a separate building and was once known as Eliot Cottage. For many years it served as the village Butchers shop. This building may date back to the 16th century. Part of the cottage is above the Eliot’s cellar. ‘Eliot Cottage’  is now incorporated into the Eliot Arms and any claims that the pub may be of 16th century origin may be disputed because the main building is almost certainly 19th century.

Alan Gaunt contacted me and was able to supply some interesting information on the Eliot Arms. His mother and father were landlords of the pub from 1953 until 1967.

Alan tells me that the Eliot Arms is most likely taken from the name of the  Eliot family of St Germans in Cornwall. “Their family coat of arms and motto ‘Praecedentibus Insta’, as displayed on the pub sign,  means “Press more closely on those that take the lead”.  He thinks that the opening of the pub in 1871 could be linked with the closure of another Eliot Arms in Down Ampney – perhaps the license of this pub was transferred to new premises in South Cerney. Certainly the dates seem to coincide, Can anyone confirn this?

Alan was able to describe the interior of the Eliot Arms as he remembered it in the early 1960’s. “It was actually quite small. Although a tall, imposing building as looked at from the front, the original Eliot was only one room deep on the left and two rooms deep on the right of the porch. The ‘kitchen’ was only a brick built extension under a mineral felt roof added probably in the 1940’s.” (See Alan’s interior plan below).

The garden of the Eliot Arms backs onto the River Churn.

The private ownership of the Eliot Arms came to an end in 1999 when Duncan and Linda Hickling sold the pub to Eldridge Pope & Co., a pub company (ex brewery) based in Dorchester. Eldridge Pope has since been acquired by Marstons.

The Eliot Arms has ten en suite letting rooms and, for locals, features a skittle alley that is easily converted into a function room.

This page will be updated with additional information.

Map Reference: SU 048972

Licensing Details:

Owner in 1888 and 1891: Cirencester Brewery

Rateable Value in 1891: £12.15s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Cirencester Brewery

Rateable Value in 1903: £20.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Closing time in 1903: 10pm

Owner 2006: Eldridge Pope

Landlords at the Eliot Arms include:

1885,1906  George Woodward

1913 Mr G.E. White

1927 Thomas Carpenter

1939 Mrs Sarah Jane Carpenter

1950 Mr N.C. Richards

1953-1967 Mr and Mrs G.E. Gaunt (Mr Gaunt died in 1965)

1989-1999 Linda and Duncan Hickling (left May 17th 1999)

2000 Margaret Chivers

2004 Simon Miles

2006,2008  Katy Coleman (manager)

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