The Forge Hammer is located near the bottom of Victoria Street on a sharp bend. It is known to have been trading as early as 1832 as a beer house and in 1840 it was described as being ‘near to the iron furnance… and known by the sign of the Forge Hammer with the garden stable brewhouse buildings.’ In 1867 another reference was made to a brew house on the premises. However, some twenty years in 1889 later the Forge Hammer had been acquired by Alfred Wintle of Bill Mills. Alfred Wintle supplied malt to pubs making their ‘home brew’d ales’ so it is possible that brewing might have still taken place there. His brother Thomas Wintle had started brewing in Mitcheldean in 1869, so although ownership of the Forge Hammer is credited to Alfred Wintle of Bill Mills, the beer was more than likely supplied from the Forest Brewery. Thomas passed away in 1888, leaving the brewery in Mitcheldean to his four children of which Francis had sole control by 1890. The Forge Hammer Inn was owned by Francis Wintle in 1891 and 1903. Throughout those twelve years the annual rateable value of the alehouse was set at £15.0s.0d and it closed each night at 11 pm.
A long serving licensee at the Forge Hammer was William Leighton who was in occupancy from 1896 to 1935. His son, Sidney, then took over.
When the Forest Brewery put their tied estate on the market in 1923 an inventory of sale of the Forge Hammer described a serving bar, private bar, smoke room, two sitting rooms, kitchen, storeroom, two pot houses and a telephone room on the ground floor. On the first floor there were five bedrooms, club room, ante-room and two store rooms.
The 1996 edition of CAMRA’s ‘Real Ale in Gloucestershire’ described the Forge Hammer as a ‘friendly local on the outskirts of town with a central service area for bar and lounge. The pub has a skittle alley.’
The Forge Hammer has now closed.
Landlords at the Forge Hammer include:
31st July 1840 ‘Mortgage David Rees to Samuel Hewlett. Occupied by ‘Wood, widow’
7th August 1843: ‘Commissioners of woods to David Rees, encroachment’
17th May 1848: ‘Mr David Rees, Parkend, engineer, to Samuel Hewlett for £450’
19th Dec 1850 ‘Mr Samuel Hewlett, builder, to Mr John Bayliss of Longford’
1856 John Baylis (in 1851 also a butcher)
1861 James Drew
1863 Henry Edginton
20th Feb 1867 ‘George Baylis, Norton to John Baylis, Littledean, Innkeeper’
1870 John Baylis
1871 William Baldwin
1876,1877 Timothy Harris
1879 Richard Roberts
1880 Samuel Meredith
1882 Joseph Harris
1885,1892 John Stephens
1896 Enoch Meredith
1896-1935 William Leighton
1935,1939 Sidney J. Leighton