Numbered 275 prior to renumbering, The Harp Inn stood on the eastern corner of the junction with Grove Street on the southern side of the High Street. It was previously known as the Hen & Chickens. The Golden Lion, if trading at the same time, was directly opposite. The Shakespeare Inn (now Shamrock) still stands on the western corner of Grove Street.
The Harp has been demolished for many years and the site of the pub is now just an advertising hoarding.
John Langford Righton was the owner of the Harp Inn in 1891. Righton & Co. were brewers at the Albion Brewery in Warwick Place (off Winchcombe Street) at this date. However, their business was in trouble as on 18th July 1891 the Anchor Brewery was offered for auction with two public houses, perhaps the Harp Inn was one of them.
The Anchor Brewery was owned by Henry Pointer in 1850. Rowes Cheltenham Illustrated Guide noted that ‘Mr Pointer’s Brewery ‘was known for the purity of its ‘home brew’d’ (he also listed there in 1859). He was succeeded by W.J. Clinch (recorded at the Anchor Brewery in 1868 and 1871), and James Henry Wheeler in 1883, followed just two years later by Clement John Cowell. With so many owners in just forty years it is perhaps surprising that the brewery was even taken on by Righton & Co. Maybe it was purchased as a property investment. It seems that the Anchor Brewery was acquired by Arnold, Perrett & Co.Ltd. who used it as their Cheltenham depot, immediately closing the brewery down.
But to complicate things, Cripps & Co. of the Cirencester Brewery were leaseholders of the Harp Inn in 1891. It obviously requires more research to determine why the Cirencester Brewery held the lease of the Harp from the Anchor Brewery. It was a humble beer house with an annual rateable value of £15.5s.0d. Twelve years later in 1903 the annual rateable value of the Harp Inn had increased by one pound and fifteen shillings to £17.0s.0d. It was then fully owned and tied to the Cheltenham Original Brewery.
It is believed that the Harp Inn closed in 1906, presumably surplus to requirements to the Cheltenham Brewery.
Landlords at the Harp Inn include:
1841,1848 Thomas Bourne (273 High Street – then known as the Hen & Chickens)
1870 Solomon Surman
1878 William Chevalier
1883 Job Minty
1891 William Wheeler
1901,1903 Frederick Grinnell