The Oakwood Inn was located in Mill Hill at the end of the Oakwood Road. When the Oakwood Inn was licensed the pub enjoyed panoramic views towards Bream. However, since the days when ‘last orders’ were called for the final time in the 1960’s trees have encroached on the open space and the private residence is now in a secluded wooded glade.

Samuel Musgrove was the owner and occupier of the Oakwood Inn in 1891 when the pub traded free of brewery tie. The annual rateable value of the alehouse was set at £12.0s.0d. Anglo-Bavarian (later Anglo) Brewery in Somerset had acquired the Oakwood Inn by 1903. ‘Supping up’ time was 10 pm. When the Anglo Brewery ceased trading in 1921 the locals quenched their thirsts with Arnold Perrett’s Wickwar Ales. Ownership of the Oakwood Inn then passed to the Cheltenham Original Brewery in 1937.

In Heather Hurley’s book ‘Pubs of the Royal Forest of Dean’ (Logaston Press) an inventory of sale for the Oakwood Inn in 1937 reads:

“All that messuage or Public House known as the Oakwood Inn situate at Bream in the Parish of Newland in the County of Gloucester together with the outbuildings thereto belonging to and the Water Grist Mill called ‘Oakwood Mill’ and all other buildings and appurtenances thereunto belonging together also with the site thereof and the land occupied therewith and also all those pieces of arable and meadow lands and orchard adjoining or near thereto containing three acres or thereabouts comprised in and conveyed by a Conveyance dated the first day of September One thousand nine hundred made between Isaiah Trotter of the first part Samuel Musgrove and Sarah Musgrove of the second part and the Anglo Brewing Company of the third part.”

The stream running through the Oakwood Valley was used to power a corn mill as early as 1520. A foundry had been established on the site by 1852, which manufactured nails for export. It had closed by 1859 but was later worked by the Pearce family and had closed again by c1916. The Oakwood Valley was also rich in deposits of coal and iron ore, of which the latter has been mined since Roman times. The Flour Mill Colliery site is now the home of a Steam Locomotive Restoration and Repair Shop.

It is worth noting that the name of the landlord of the Oakwood Inn in 1939 was Sidney James – probably not the ‘Carry On’ actor though!

There is a rendered rectangular patch on the wall of the building, which presumably once housed a West Country Ales plaque. The Oakwood Inn closed down in March 1970.

Landlords of the Oakwood Inn include:

1876,1891 Samuel Musgrove (listed as miller, Oakwood mills and Oakwood Inn in 1876)

1902,1903 Charles W. Morse (listed as builder and undertaker in 1903)

1906 Stephen Bromfield

1919 William Pitcher

1927 Hy. Cook

1930’s Charles Truman

1939 Sidney James

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