Gloucestershire Echo, 19th June 1992 – Legal threat over pub signs: A pub landlord could be prosecuted for putting up roadside signs directing motorists to his popular 300-year-old inn. But Mr Barry Hinton says the three signs have been there for ten years – pointing to the Green Dragon tucked away in woodland at Cockleford, near Cowley.
Cotswold District Council is threatening to take him to court unless he applies for permission for the notices on the A435 Cheltenham to Cirencester Road. Mr Hinton says he needs the signs to ensure people do not miss the pub, which was listed among the top 100 in the country in a national survey. Mr Hinton, who runs the pub with his wife Susan, said: “We have always had the signs on the road. We have had them for nearly ten years. They are on private land, and we have authority from the people who own the land to put them there.”
Councillors decided to authorise legal action after enforcement officer Mr Harold Clarke told them Mr Hinton had made no attempt to obtain planning permission. The landlord has until Tuesday to submit an application to retain the signs or face prosecution under the 1990 Town and Country Planning act.
The Tippler – the magazine of the Gloucestershire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). August 1997 – Green Dragon sold: We understand that Smiles have sold the Green Dragon at Cockleford to a local businessman and given peremptory notice to the previous landlord. Certainly the pub was shut at the time of going to press and refurbishment work was in progress.
Business & Finance Supplement, 6th October 1998 (advertisement) – A warm and friendly welcome awaits you: The Green Dragon Inn at Cockleford which dates back to 1675 is uniquely situated in a quiet country setting overlooking the wooden Churn valley. Ample parking. The Green Dragon is open every day of the week throughout the year and this privately owned establishment aims to provide its customers with a friendly comfortable atmosphere, good food and pleasing wines and ales.
Our newly refurbished kitchens, provide an excellent choice of fine food prepared from fresh produce with local and seasonal specialities from our ever changing “All Day Menu”. Please ask for a copy at the bar. There are two dining areas including the restaurant and booking is advisable evenings and weekends.
There are also two delightful terraces to relax in or to dine ‘al fresco’. One of the terraces is heated to extend the privilege of dining outside till late in the season.
The Mouse Bars provide a true Country Inn ambience with their welcoming open fires and traditional English Oak Bar’s and furnishing all made and carved with a very special mouse by the “Mouseman”of Kilburn near York.
The Green Dragon Inn provides excellent accommodation from nine en-suite rooms all with colour tv/teletext and tea/coffee making facilities. Situated in a quiet location within a courtyard most rooms have views across adjacent hills and the Churn valley. The Long Room is a Cotswold Stone function room offering the most up to date facilities, for business or social functions.
The Citizen, 16th October 1999. “Eating Out” – A dragon with the roaring fires: Set on the side of a verdant valley in the heart of rural Gloucestershire, the Green Dragon is everything a typical Cotswold pub should be. With roaring fires in the dining room and bar, beams, wooden furniture and thick-set stone walls, you instantly feel at home when you walk through the front door. Since its make-over more than a year ago, the inn has built up a loyal following of regulars, as well as attracting many visitors to its restaurant and bar.
It’s not the easiest pub to find but is in fact only a stones throw from Birdlip. Just head for Cowley and then take the Guide HQ turning in the village that leads straight to the pub. Owner John Brown carried out extensive improvements and now the pub has a guest house and function rooms to add to its appeal.
This isn’t a pub to visit if you want simple pub grub that won’t cost too much and isn’t too fancy. If that’s what you want try somewhere else. The pub prides itself on high-quality brasserie, producing imaginative cuisine, rather than merely meals, but you have to be prepared to pay for it. Having said that, the standard is, on the whole, pretty good and if you fancy a special meal out or even a weekly treat, this could be the place for you.
Gloucestershire Echo, Tuesday 20th May 2003 – Restaurant Profile, The Green Dragon: Welcoming log fires, beamed ceilings and stone floors help set the scene for a relaxing lunch or evening out. You can unwind in either of the two bars, one of which is the unique ‘Mouse Bar’. The furniture was made especially for the Inn by the Mouse Man of Kilburn, Robert Thompson, who carved his signature mouse on each piece, thus creating a game of hide and seek for inquisitive eyes in the years to come!
Gloucestershire Echo, 6th August 2010 – World War Two bomb found in stream: An unexploded Second World War bomb was discovered in a village near Cheltenham. The Green Dragon Inn in Cockleford, near Cowley, was evacuated yesterday morning while a controlled explosion was carried out. Police and the army were called at 11.15am after the bomb was found in a stream by Gloucestershire Highways, who were carrying out work on a bridge near to the pub.
Liz Kirkham, bridge engineer, said they were busy repairing and levelling out the river bed, which had been washed away over the past couple of winters. She said: “Engineers were using pick axes to create al evel surface when they came across a bomb so it’s lucky they didn’t strike it when they were working. They were obviously quite shocked, it’s not every day you find a bomb when you’re working.”
A police spokesman said the pub was evacuated as a precaution while bomb disposal experts carried out a safe, controlled explosion of the mortar, which was one foot long and 18 inches deep. After the explosion. Gloucestershire Highways revisited the site to make sure the bridge was safe. Liz said: “We had to make sure it’s safe to reopen to the public. We’ll also have to put the work we were doing on hold for now.”
In December 1971 it was reported that an old man trap was hanging on display in the bar, a fearsome instrument once used by landlords to deter or catch poachers. Is it still there?
Owner in 1891: Cheltenham Original Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £19.2s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Cheltenham Original Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £13.4s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Green Dragon include:
1885,1891 Edwin Draper (Cockleford Inn in 1885 Kelly’s Directory)
1902, 1906 Alfred Ernest Organ
1919 Samuel Taylor
1927,1939 Daniel Taylor
1984 Chris Phillips
1986,1992 Barry and Sue Hinton
1998,1999 John Brown
2007 Ian Dick
2005,2015 Simon and Nicky Haly (managers)