The Mill Inn is an unspoilt pub, full of character, with a warren of small rooms. I have in my collection a wonderful description of the Mill Inn but, unfortunately, I have not made notes on where the information was sourced:
‘Among the smaller inns of the county there are few, indeed, that can rival the Mill Inn at Withington. Situate high on the Cotswold uplands, on the River Coln, and in one of the most beautiful of these grey stone villages, this ancient house has stood for many centuries, offering shelter and sustenance to man and beast. Opposite the inn stands the ancient water mill which has, in truth, ground its corn and paid its tax ever since Doomsday Book. The Mill Inn is a Free House; the present landlord has shewn (sic) more than usual skill in modernising and introducing the essentials of personal comfort into his ancient house without in any way sacrificing its prestine beauty. The bar parlour, in the evening, is the centre of village life and here is still smoked the old (ald almost extinct) ‘Churchwarden’ pipe; many tales have been told – and are yet to be told – by the great open hearth. I have before now surprised no less a dignitary than a Bishop comfortably ensonced in the ingle before the great fire, sipping his port and discussing with the leaders of the village thought…..’ ‘Trouting may be had over two and a quarter miles of the Coln (private water) which here, though small, yields many a good fish and tests the skill of the dry fly expert. Mine hostess, incidently, is also an expert with a trout, though in her case the rod yields place to the frying pan. The food here is not of the Ritz or Carlton variety, but – and how much rarely found! – it is first-class, well-served homely English fare. This is an age of noise and vulgarity – fortunately the Cotswolds are not yet vulgarised to the same extent as much of our countryside has been; Withington and the Mill Inn – off the beaten track as they are – have not yet been discovered by the tourist, indeed the letting accommodation of the inn is very strictly limited. For those in quest of peace, rest and comfort (or a goodly basket of Trout) I can recommend most warmly the Mill Inn and limpid waters of the Coln’.
In the 1960’s it was partly rebuilt with stone from the old Northleach prison.
The Mill Inn gained a reputation for its signature dish in the late 1950’s – early 1960’s, Chicken in the Basket. The Mill Inn has been credited as one of the first pubs to introduce this culinary delight.
The Mill Inn is tied to Samuel Smith’s Tadcaster Brewery. Sam Smith’s is a traditional Yorkshire brewery. In the mid 1990’s the Mill was judged worthy of inclusion in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, Old Brewery Bitter and Museum Ale were on handpump. The real ales were then withdrawn for over a decade, and it took a lot of persuasion to get the brewery to supply cask OBB (Old Brewery Bitter) back at the Mill Inn.
This page will be updated.
Owner in 1891: Cheltenham Original Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £8.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Cheltenham Original Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £12.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Mill Inn include:
1750 John Collier
1856 J. Field
1870-1879 Thomas Field
1879-1885 Walter Cook
1885,1891 Mrs Emma Radway
1893,1903,1915 George F. Ayton
1917-1918 Charles & Coralie Ayton
1915-1930 Miss Agnes Ayton
1930-1935 Thomas W. Johnson
1935-1940 Herbert Oswold Collett
1940-1953 Violet Collett
1953-1956 Herbert Oswold Collett
1956-1957 Patrick Dobell and John Doust
1957-1958 James Watson
1958-1959 Gerald Bingham
1959-1961 John Corville
1961-1984 Gordon and Elfride Snelling
1984-1987 Desmond Lawrence
1987-1993 Neil Walsh and Norman Barrie
1993-1994 Gordon Garrity
1994-1995 Philip and Tracey Royston
1995-1998 Peter and Bubbles Nielson
1999-2001 Nathan Daniel and Pamela Elvin
2001,2010 Karl and Julie Phillips