At the tip of the sweeping ox-bow bend of the River Severn to the west of Arlingham, an inn named The Passage House stood here from at least the C17th, possibly earlier, forming part of the Arlingham Court Estate. In 1802 it was renamed as The Three Mitres, and continued to thrive on the coaching routes (evidenced in Paterson’s Roads) and livestock droving route across the river here. At that time the site had coach houses and livery with the equivalent at Newnham on Severn, which is 400 metres away on the opposite bank of the river, with passengers changing stage coaches and crossing by ferry.
In the late 1840s The Three Mitres was demolished and a slightly smaller replacement inn was built on the site resulting in it being given the name of The New Inn.
Since 1968 it has been more familiar as the Old Passage Inn. In the 1850s the Arlingham Court Estate was sold to the wealthy Robert Stayner Holford of Westonbirt estate who created the arboretum there (see also Hare & Hounds, Westonbirt). In 1919 when Sir George Holford sold the Arlingham Court Estate in lots The pub became known as the Old Passage Inn in 1968.
Thank you to Jon Shaw for supplying me with additional information on the history of the Old Passage Inn.
Advertisement: Citizen. Monday 21st January, 1985. A New Look for the Old Passage Inn, Arlingham. Jan and Graham Pockett, and their daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Mick Feegrade, have recently bought the Old Passage Inn at Arlingham. They formerly ran a pub in Hillingdon, Middlesex, for eight and a half years. The Old Passage Inn is situated on the River Severn opposite Newnham and the Forest of Dean and sells a wide variety of ales.
Since moving to the pub in November last year, the new owners have made a start on the exterior decoration, and there are plans to refurbish the main bar in the near future. The restaurant, with seating for 28, re-opens tomorrow with an a ‘la carte menu, presented by the chef, who was formerly head chef at one of the best hotels in the area.
The new owners are in the process of making alterations to the garden. This will include a children’s play are for the spring and summer.
Jan, Graham, Jane and Mick look forward to meeting you in the near future.
The Citizen, Friday 24th May 1991 – Cellar gigs: The Old Passage Inn, Arlingham, reopens its cellar bar today for gigs by bands. The pub, set in picturesque countryside on the banks of the Severn, is undergoing further redevelopment.
The Old Passage closed in July 1999. It was feared that the pub might be converted to a private house but it was reopened as a restaurant in July 2000. The Old Passage now specialises in fish and shellfish recipes. The Old Passage was awarded the title of Seafood Pub of the Year by the AA in 2004. Cornish native lobsters served with a salad and side dish are the pieces of resistance at the Old Passage – and a whole lobster will cost you in the region of £32.
The Old Passage Inn was purchased in 2022 by Easton and Alison Hogben of the Quality Inns Group and it is currently undergoing refurbishment ahead of a planned reopening in Spring 2024.
Map Reference: SO 696113
Rateable Value in 1891: £22.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1891: Robert Stayner Holford Esq. (leased to Arnold Perrett & Co., Wickwar Brewery)
Rateable Value in 1903: £10.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: George L. Holford., Esq. (leased to Arnold Perrett & Co., Wickwar Brewery)
Closing time in 1903: 10 pm
Landlords at the Three Mitres / New Inn / Old Passage Inn include:
1698 Thomas Fryer
1728 Charles Aldridge
1839 John Saunders
1850 John Phipps
1856 S. Hayward (Jnr.)
1860,1885 Samuel Hayward
1885,1891 John Dee
1894 Nicholas Stick
1894 Jeremy Hyett
1900-1910 Frederick Burroughs
1919 Bertram King
1937,1939 Ronald Geo. Prout
1939 Basil Trout
1953 William (Bill) Twynning
1968 George and Pauline Phillips
1972,1984 Stuart Jones
1984 (November) Jan and Graham Pockett, and their daughter and son-in-law, Jane and Mick Feegrade
1985 Stan Pockett
1987 Colin Hughes
1991 Guy Coleman
1995,1998 Mike Hargreaves
2007 Somerset Moore
2002 Josephine (Jo) Moore
2007 Sally Pearce