The New Inn was originally known as the Cross or Keys and was located at Marions Walk, a forestry area. The licence of the New Inn was later transferred across the road nearer to the crossroads.
Emily Jones was the owner of the New Inn in 1891. At that time the pub, designated a beer house, was free of brewery tie and was occupied by landlord William Aston. Within twelve years (1903) the New Inn had been acquired by the Wickwar Brewery (Arnold, Perrett & Co., Ltd.). The rateable value per annum was set at £11.4s.0d. and the public house closed at 10 pm. Thomas Kilby ran the New Inn in 1903 and John H. James was in residency in 1939.
The New Inn had a change of identity, presumably in the 1960’s, and became known as the Pike House Tavern. The site of the pub was on or near to an old turnpike.
Forest of Dean & Ross-on-Wye Pubs. A critical guide by Jon Hurley (booklet, 1991): This concreted monstrosity is outwardly as far removed as it could be from the idyllic, nook and cranny “welter of beams” type inn which attracts folk like bees to honey. If initial impressions were less than flattering the friendly hosts and a good menu soon had us at our ease. The interior is bright with exposed pine, a selection of prints, a pool table, and a fruit machine. It is a large pub. difficult to make cosy but the landlords are keen to attract passing trade with their nice snacks, meals and plentiful parking. There are two bars, the large ‘public’ and a smaller lounge, also with lots of prints, water colours and bits of brass. From an interesting menu we selected Chilli and Savoury Pancakes. Both were attractively served and tasty. There is a small wine list and Whitbread’s beers and lagers.
The Pike House was put up for sale in September 1999 for £119,000. A single storey restaurant was later added to the side of the pub and, in the process, a West Country Ales ‘Best in the West’ ceramic plaque, which was situated in the original wall, was removed or destroyed. Trade suffered during the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak and then a building company carried out poor quality work whilst refurbishing the pub and went bankrupt before the costs could be reclaimed. The Pike House closed in October 2006 and was immediately boarded up. A local businessman had bought the pub. He told the local press “This is a fantastic location and has enormous tourist potential but it needs investment to upgrade it.”
In March 2007 there were plans to build a motel on the site. Coleford based developers Brook Planning Consultancy argued in a letter sent to the district planners that there was a need to improve the quality of accommodation and facilities in the Forest of Dean to encourage tourists to stay in the area rather than simply be day visitors. Outline permission was granted to build several new visitor rooms on the site. Four months later in July permission was granted to convert the Pike House Tavern into seven flats. A petition was raised and signed by 19 residents who argued that the pub could be a viable proposition and a community asset if properly run. However, councillors passed the application with no debate with 16 in favour and one abstention. It was thought that the close proximity of the Kings Head in Berry Hill would be sufficient to serve the needs of the community. Yet within just a year or so that had also closed.
An application was submitted to Forest of Dean District Council in late May 2009 for the ‘erection of a building comprising twelve flats. Construction of new vehicular access and provision of parking facilities and communal garden area. Use of existing outbuilding as bin store and cycle shed. Demolition of existing public house.’
The Pike House was finally demolished in October 2009 some three years after the pub served its last pints. The building had been boarded up for so long it was causing concern. A neighbour living opposite the pub told the local papers that he would have loved it to stay open as a pub but it was becoming an eyesore. He said: ‘I have picked up needles and all kinds of rubbish there when I walk my dog so hopefully the building work will put a stop to that.”