The Fleece Inn was on the northern side of Newerne Street, almost opposite the Bridge Inn. In 1863 the Fleece was licensed to sell ‘Beer, Ale and Porter, Cider & Perry, by retail, in order that it may be consumed in the said Dwelling-house of Matilda Davies.’
Charles Birks was the owner of the Fleece Inn in late Victorian / early Edwardian times it and was free from brewery tie. The Fleece Inn was licensed as an alehouse and had an annual rateable value of £33.15s.0d., closing at 11 pm.
The Fleece Inn was later acquired as part of the ever expanding Wickwar Brewery pub estate. Arnold, Perrett & Co also supplied their beer to the Foresters Arms, Greyhound, Queens Head, Severn View and White Horse.
In 1937 the inventory of sale described the Fleece as “that messuage or Inn known as the Fleece Inn situate and being numbers 27 and 29 Newerne Street in the Parish of Lydney in the County of Gloucester with the brewhouse, cellars, gardens and all appurtenances thereunto together with the site thereof and the land occupied therewith.” The mention of brewhouse is interesting – the Fleece Inn must have once brewed its own beer.
The Fleece Inn closed down in the early 1970’s.
The building is now Old Fleece Chambers and part of the old pub now the Card Box shop. It was previously a Red Cross charity shop. There is a West Country Ales – Best in the West ceramic plaque on the wall, which makes identification easy. It is surprising that the plaque survived the alterations to the ground floor when the original narrow sash windows were replaced with larger shop windows.
Citizen. Friday October 5th 1984: Forest of Dean councillors have refused plans for shops and offices at the former Fleece Inn, Newerne Street, Lydney, because of the lack of parking and loading space at the premises, empty for almost a year.
Landlords at the Fleece Inn include:
1863 Matilda Davies
1885, 1906 Mrs Emma Annie Davies
1919,1927 Tom Pollard
1939 Reginald Douglas Brown