In 1891 and 1903 the pub was referred to as the Old Inn.
The Five Mile House was a 300 year old coaching inn set high in the Cotswolds on the old Roman Road – Ermin Street. When the landlady, Ivy Ruck, died in 1995 there were fears that this totally unspoilt pub would close forever. The Five Mile House had been in the Ruck family since the 1930’s and had hardly altered in the intervening 65 years with bare wood floors, open fires and wooden seating. The small bar leads through to the tap room with its high-backed settles and wood burning stoves.
Thankfully the classic country pub was saved and reopened again in 1997 when the Carrier family bought the Five Mile House. Jo Carrier introduced fine dining in a restaurant that was once Ivy Rucks old living quarters whilst keeping the character of the traditional pub unspoilt.
Sadly the highly regarded and sought after cuisine at the Five Mile House was discontinued and trade at the pub reverted to drinks only. Unfortunately the requests for proper signage directing potential custom from motorists off the busy A417 were refused by the planners at the Cotswold District Council.
The pub has now closed and is in residential use.
Gloucestershire Echo, 2nd September 1995 – Axe hangs over unspoilt pub: The owner of a 300 year-old Cotswold pub has backed campaigners’ attempts to stop it being turned into housing. Mr Maurice Ruck, who is selling the Five Mile House in Duntisbourne Abbots, hopes it will be bought by someone who will maintain its historic feel.
The last drink was pulled in July at the beer house following the death of Mr Ruck’s sister, Miss Ivy Ruck. The Ruck family has run the pub since 1930. Miss Ruck took it over in 1982. Mr Ruck decided he could not run the listed building containing historic oak fittings and put it into the hands of executors to sell. A £160.000 price tag has been put on the property, which does not have a sign and is on the main A417 between Cirencester and Gloucester.
Mr Ruck wants the pub to remain as a drinking place. “There’s a lot of local interest in the place and it has quite a history. The customers want it to stay as it is and I agree with them. I don’t want to see 300 years of history just disappear,” he said.
Gloucestershire Echo, 14th September 1995 – Time warp pub could be saved: One of the county’s most unspoilt pubs could be saved from conversion into a house after huge interest from possible buyers. Real ale group CAMRA sounded the alarm last month when Five Mile House, on the Gloucester to Cirencester road, was put on the market by estate agents Hobbs and Chambers. It followed the death of popular landlady Ivy Ruck earlier this year, the pub had been in the Ruck family since the early 1940’s.
Because of the amount of money needed to be spent on the property, the agents warned the pub might not pay as a business and could end up being sold for conversion into a house. “As one of the few remaining pubs of this type in the county Gloucestershire CAMRA, along with the pub regulars and all those concerned with retaining this unique example of Cotswold heritage, will campaign to try and ensure the Five Mile House continues as pub,” said a CAMRA spokesman. The group has the pub, which is being offered for £160,000 on its schedule of most historic pub interiors in Britain.
But today Hobbs & Chambers manager Peter Chambers said there had been keen interest in the property and the firm had carried out more than a dozen viewings. “We always knew there was likely to be a lot of interest,” he said. “But we were surprised at the level of interest in mind the market is still not that good.” He said most of the people looking at the building wanted to keep it as a pub and added he hoped to have some sort of deal on the table by the end of the month.
The pub was beloved by real ale fans as a glance back to yesteryear. CAMRA describe it as a “time capsule.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 30th September 2005 – Pub offers best food by a mile: A Cotswold pub has won a national award. The Five Mile House, in Duntisbourne Abbots, near Cirencester, has been named dining pubof the year in the Good Pub Guide 2006. The book says: “You’ll get a warm welcome from the cheerful licensee whose excellent, homely yet individual cooking is served in charming pub surroundings with plenty of friendly banter.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 29th September 2006 – Cheers! We’re Britain’s best: Regulars at a Cotswolds pub are charging their glasses after their local scooped a prestigious Pub of the Year award. Five Mile House in Duntisbourne Abbots near Cirencester scored the number one spot in The Good Pub Guide for 2007. The new guide recommends the pub as “a favourite with readers”, noted for its “larky atmosphere, good beer and food and a friendly welcome.”
Co-landlord Jo Carrier was delighted with the recognition. He said: “I’m very surprised – we’re tucked away and I didn’t expect this. It’s great news.” Five Mile House is run by Jo Carrier, his wife Liz and father Jon. They won the award for the combination of rich, fulfilling ales and pub grub, with Jo working in the kitchen and Jon manning the pumps. Jo said: “I’ve been running this pub for 10 years and I love it. We create a non-pretentious atmosphere where people can relax. We serve good, honest homely food and we try and maintain an environment where people aren’t whispering but completely letting their hair down. Having a local and friendly atmosphere is the most important thing really.”
John Burrows on his memories of the Five Mile House: “I remember Ivy Ruck of the Five Mile House at Duntisbourne Abbots with much respect and affection. I first visited the pub when I was a young man and her father Fred kept it. Latterly I used to call in on cold winter’s nights for a pint of Courage’s Ale straight from the barrel. Sometimes I was her only customer, and I often thought how vulnerable she was there on her own as a single woman.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 11th January 2000 – Pub serves holy orders: Parishioners in the Cotswolds will take the church to the pub for an evening of family-friendly worship. The parish churches in the Upper Churn Valley and Ermine Street are hosting a Cotswold Celtic Praise evening. The event, at the supper room of the Five Mile House, will include music, reflective liturgy and a thought for the day. There will be then a discussion over a pint and sandwich.
Gloucestershire Echo, 1st June 2010 – Bikers stop for a lemonade: Bikers in Gloucestershire flocked to a Cotswold pub to meet up with kindred spirits. More than 500 riders met at the Five Mile House in Duntibourne Abbots for a special charity biker event. The historic drinking spot, which has been standing since the 16th century, was a sea of shiny chrome metal and leather-clad customers.
Pub landlord Jo Carrier said: “It was a superb night. Usually we suffer from being at the end of a long dead-end road but all that extra space came in handy for the bikers to park. The only problem is bikers of today are very responsible so we were in danger of running out of lemonade.”
Gloucestershire Echo, Tuesday 1st March 2011. Commercial Property – Successful pub on the market: Christie & Co has been instructed to market the Five Mile House at Duntisbourne Abbots. The pub, dating from the 1700’s, is built of Cotswold stone and has a stone-flagged roof. It sat on the A417 before a dual carriageway by-passed it in the 1980’s. Jon Carrier and his son, Jo Carrier, who operates the pub, have decided to sell the pub after 14 years’ successful trade, to concentrate on other interests.
The Carriers have developed a strong food trade, which now accounts for 60 per cent of sales. In October 2010, they successfully applied for planning permission to extend the property, which included a 100-capacity function room and facilities, and a car park with approximately 35 spaces.
Five Mile House benefits from a wood-panelled snug, a bar with bay window and seating, a 30-cover dining room with open fireplace and a lower ground-floor bar in two rooms, with 20 and 16 covers respectively.
Five Mile House is for sale on a freehold basis at an asking price of £750,000.
Gloucestershire Echo, 9th March 2011 – Publican swaps bar for school: Keeping a noisy rabble in check is nothing new for Jo Carrier, who has been a pub landlord for 15 years. But now the father-of-two from the Cotswolds is facing a new challenge – controlling a classroom full of children.
The 41 year-old, who runs the Five Mile House in Duntisbourne Abbots, is calling time on his role in the pub trade to embark on a second career as a primary school teacher.
Gloucestershire Echo, 14th November 2011 – Fall in profits sees pub take food off menu: A popular Cotswold eatery has stopped serving food after claiming the economic conditions make it unprofitable. Bosses of the Five Mile House said they could not make enough money serving food and so will concentrate on other areas of the business. After 14 years of offering a menu, the final meals at the Duntisbourne Abbots inn were served last week.
Landlord Jo Carrier said they could no longer justify serving food. “Awards have been won, banquets applauded, friends made, and may, many laughs shared and committed forever to memory. However, we have never been able to match this with similar financial success. As the current trading conditions have worsened, and look set to continue doing so for quite some time into the future, and our personal circumstances and outlooks have developed; we have been finding it increasingly difficult to justify the cost of running the food operation.”
Gloucestershire Echo, 6th December 2012 – New owners aim to put their pub back on the map: New owners of a Cotswold pub are hoping to tickle the taste buds of traditional drinkers while satisfying a thirst for the current love of all things cider. Business partners Martin Thomas and John Bagshaw, from London, have taken on the grade two-listed The Five Mile House in the village of Duntisbourne Abbots. They hope the hidden treasure inside the pub and restaurant, which includes listed furniture, as well as the building – will entice customers into the venue, which is off the A417 near the Texaco petrol station.
The new owners are also in the process of opening up a cider bar, which will have around 50 different types of the fruity drink in the next couple of weeks. Mr Thomas, 53, said they had 40 experience in the trade and hoped to turn it into a thriving community pub and restaurant. The food side of the business has been closed for more than a year and Mr Thomas said that had led a lot of customers to believe the pub was closed as well. He said: “As soon as we saw it we knew it was the place and knew we could do a lot with it. It has an incredible amount of character with so much potential.”
The Five Mile House was named Cotswold restaurant of the year in 2005 and 2006 and pub of the year in 2007. Mr Thomas said: “We want to restore it to that kind of glory. We’re serving up traditional pub grub like pies, steak, fish and ploughmans, but with a twist. More than 80 per cent of our produce for the food and bar comes from the local area.”
Wilts & Glos Standard, 1st August 2013 – ‘Hard to find’ pub no more: A landlord says he has been forced to close his pub because customers could not find where it was. Martin Thomas took over The Five Mile House in Duntisbourne Abbots in November last year. He applied to have a brown tourist sign put on the A417 directing passers-by to the pub but was told pubs generally did not qualify.
“I invested a lot of money in the pub, building it up,” he said. “Now it’ll probably be converted into a house. Lots of people has a lot of affection for that pub.”
But a spokesman for the Highways Agency said they had rejected Mr Thomas’ request for a tourist sign because public houses did not usually qualify for the brown tourist signs, which are intended for tourist destinations attracting between 40,000 and 250,000 visitors each year. The spokesman said occasionally signs may be allowed under exceptional circumstances. Mr Thomas’ request was turned down on 23rd July and he has since returned to London. He said he had little hope for the future of the pub.
“I don’t think we can reopen,” he said. “I’ve waited so long for this now that I’ve just given up. There was no way I could continue ploughing money into the pub. The Highwayman Inn (a pub on the A417) was allowed a brown tourist sign and it’s not even a heritage site like the Five Mile House is. Why was that allowed when mine was not?”
Gloucestershire Echo, 6th August 2013 – Final bell rung for historic pub: Time has been called on a historic pub just seven months after new landlords took the helm. The 300-year-old Five Mile House has been forced to close down. Landlord Martin Thomas, 54, said the pub had fallen victim to a lack of signs directing people its way. Two chefs and three part-time bar staff have lost their jobs.
Wilts & Glos Standard, 10th October 2013 – Pub owners apologise for long delay in finding ideal tenants: Owners of a closed country pub have apologised that it is closed after more than two months. The Five Mile House at Duntisbourne Abbotts has been closed since July. Owners Jo and John Carrier have said they are taking their time to ensure that they find the right person for the job. “We’ve had plenty of interest but we’re proceeding very carefully at the moment,” said Jo Carrier. “The right person is needed for locals and tourists and although we’re hoping we’ll find that person sooner rather than later, timing isn’t our main concern. We’re aware of the inconvenience and we promise to find the best long-term tenant as we can. It’ll be worth the wait.”
Gloucestershire Echo, Thursday 1st May 2014 – Family putting in the miles to bring new life to old pub: (by Joe Lane) Regulars at The Five Mile House near Cirencester have reason to raise their pint glasses in delight after the historic pub re-opened. Husband and wife team Stephen and Jacquie Rawicki have taken on the 300-year-old former coaching inn, in Duntisbourne Abbots, following a seven month closure. The couple, who ran a restaurant in North Wales for many years, say they want to offer a traditional pub environment allied with a restaurant menu full of locally produced produce.
Jacquie said: “We’re delighted to be taking on the pub. I know it sounds corny, but we just fell in love with the place as soon as we saw it. It’s got so much history and the layout is unique. There is nowhere else like it.”
Previous landlord Martin Thomas left suddenly last year, citing a lack of signs to direct customers from the A417 as a problem.
Gloucestershire Echo, Thursday 19th February 2015 – Pub marks first anniversary: Bosses of a historic Cotswold pub enjoyed a double celebration with their customers. They all raised a glass at the Five Mile House to mark the fact that it reopened 12 months ago, having been closed for seven months before that. And husband and wife Stephen and Jacquie Rawicki, who took over the 300-year-old former coaching inn, came up with another reason to have a party – launching a fundraising appeal for their chosen chartiy for the next 12 months.
I have searched the internet for information on the Five Mile House serving its last pints without much success. It seems that 20 years or so after being saved, following the death of landlady Ivy Ruck in 1995, the pub closed its doors forever with little fuss. It is now a private residence.
Map Reference: SO 978091
Owner in 1891: Mrs Marianne Sutton (free from brewery tie)
Rateable Value in 1891: £14.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Mrs E.M. Cumberland (free from brewery tie)
Rateable Value in 1903: £14.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords: at the Old Inn / Five Mile House include:
1856 Mrs A. Andrews
1861 George Telling (listed as the Old Inn in 1861 census. George had left the pub by 1867)
1891,1906 Jesse Short
1913 Thomas Ratcliffe
1927 Albert Bennett
1939 Frederick William Ruck
Ivy Ruck (died in 1995)
1997,2008 Jo Carrier
2014 Stephen and Jacquie Rawicki