The Old Fleece was first licensed as an inn in 1870. It is an 18th century Cotswold stone building with twin gables and mullioned windows.
Gloucester Journal: January 14th 1882 – Mr R.H. Smith, deputy coroner, held an inquest at the Old Fleece, Rooksmoor, on Tuesday, on the body of Charles Lewis, labourer, 48, who died suddenly the previous evening. It appears that the deceased had been given to drinking up to three or four months ago. For the past few weeks he had been in ill-health but has continued to work. On Monday evening he went to bed and asked his wife to bring up his supper to him. In a few minutes deceased wife heard him groan and called assistance. They went up to him but he died within a quarter of an hour. Verdict, death from natural causes.
The landlady in 1938 had reason to complain to the Stroud Brewery Company. She wrote in anger: “This house really is falling to bits, rain not only coming in on the beds but all over the house, the dirty walls are alarming – one only feels they are eating dirt to look at them. I have even had to put curtains up on the stairs to try and hide holes in the walls. The bedroom floors are giving way and the kitchen … we would get unto trouble if we tried to keep pigs in it!
On St Georges Day (23rd April) in 1993 businessman Nick Beardsley and chef Christophe Coquoin opened for business at the Old Fleece. The centuries old pub had been altered over the years but when Nick and Christophe took over they restored the building to its original glory, stripping back the walls and floors to reveal the beauty of the original structure. The high quality food and good service in traditional and comfortable surroundings was a successful formula. Nick and Christophe now operate the Food Club in their other pubs.
On the morning of Saturday 24th March 2004 Nick Beardsley was driving in his car from Nailsworth back to the Old Fleece when he pulled over to let a fire engine go past. When he arrived back at the Fleece he was horrified to see flames leaping out of the upstairs windows. It took dozens of fire fighters and five tenders two hours to put out the fire. Luckily there was no one upstairs at the time and the kitchens and restaurant area were not affected – the pub was open for business again on the following Monday morning. A black Labrador dog named George was trapped in the blazing building. He miraculously survived by finding an air pocket under a flight of stairs until fire fighters rescued him.
This page will be updated with additional information.
Map Reference: SO 843030
Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £12.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £12.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Old Fleece include:
1885 Joseph Mortimer
1891,1906 John William Neale
1919,1927 T. Rawlinson
1939 Leonard Floyd
? Ben Ford
1993, 2005 Nick Beardsley and Christophe Coquoin (restaurateurs)