The Ragged Cot Inn is in an isolated position to the east of Minchinhampton at Hyde, on the road to Cirencester. The name is possibly an abbreviation of Racquet Court but the name is more likely to refer to the type of stone which decorates the front of the building. The Ragged Cot was built in the early 17th Century – it is thought that a building has stood there since around 1610. Cooks Tetbury Brewery once supplied the beer. The Ragged Cot was enlarged in 1926 when it was in the ownership of the Stroud Brewery Company.
The Ragged Cot is reputedly haunted. One story is that the landlord in 1760, Bill Clavers, was a man of dubious character who was a highwayman. One snowy night he rushed out from the pub in a drunken stupor to rob a passing stagecoach. In his eagerness to get down the stairs he knocked his wife and child down the stairs, ignoring their cries for help. When he returned they were both dead. He was later caught for his crime – his footprints in the snow gave the game away! An alternative version is that the same landlord was an alcoholic and let unsavoury characters frequent the pub. One evening a fight broke out in the premises and, upon hearing the commotion, the landlords wife with her baby in arms, challenged her husband. He lost his temper, told her that the child was not his and threw them both down the stairs in a drunken rage. The ghostly apparitions of the wife and child have been seen. A previous landlord claims to have seen the ghosts on more than one occasion and the eerie sound of a horse drawn stagecoach is sometimes heard.
Harry Cox, the landlord of the Ragged Cot during the Second World War, was also employed at the nearby Aston Down airfield as a clerk. It was a popular haunt of the airmen based at Aston Down and Harry’s wife even ran the RAF officers’ mess which was based in the pub smoke room. The servicemen called the pub the ‘Jagged Pot’.
The Citizen: 23rd June 1980 – 1610 Pub Sold: Bidding was brisk at last night’s auction when a centuries old pub near Minchinhampton went on the market. More than 50 prospective buyers battled each other for the ownership of the 17th century Ragged Cot pub, and at the end of the day the hammer fell to local businessman Mr Roy Marklove for a cool £85,000.
The Ragged Cot has an interesting history dating back to 1610. In 1760 the then landlord, Bill Clavers, murdered his wife an child after robbing the London stage coach. More recently the pub was a favourite haunt of RAF flyers from the now unused Aston Down airfield.
The Ragged Cot ceased trading as a pub two months ago and it looks as if time has ben called on its days as a hostelry. Mr Marklove is expected to develop it as a private home. A spokesman for the auctioneers, Davis, Champion and Payne said: “It is a particularly beautiful house set in about five acres of land. it is a listed building and the surrounding trees are all preserved by a protection order.”
Stroud News & Journal. 22nd October 1980 – Butcher takes over pub near Anne: Butcher Roy Marklove has just re-opened a country pub given the chop earlier this year. He paid £85,000 for the Ragged Cot at Hyde after it was closed by Whitbread Flowers in April as ab uneconomic proposition. “I’m sure we can make it pay,” said Mr Marklove, boss of the Cotswold Wholesale Meat company which operates an abattoir at Ebley, Stroud. Until two years ago he had two butchers shops – one in Cam and the other in Berkeley where his wife Hazel ran a boutique.
The pub, a favourite rendezvous for servicemen from the old Aston Down RAF base, has been given a big facelift. “We are aiming to run it as a traditional country inn with an old fashioned atmosphere,” said Mr Marklove. The Ragged Cot is only a short drive from Gatcombe Park, the home of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips. “We would be delighted to serve them if they dropped in for a drink,” said Mr Marklove.
The Citizen: 1st August 2000 – Spooky move for phone man: The man who led the mobile phone revolution is now building a new leisure empire – starting with the purchase of a 400-year old Cotswold Inn. David Savage’s former business, Astec plc of Cheltenham, helped make mobile phones a part of everyday life before he sold it to Vodafone in a £48 million deal. Now Mr Savage has taken over the 17th century Ragged Cot, at Hyde, near Minchinhampton, on the edge of the Princess Royal’s Gatcombe Park Estate.
“It comes complete with two ghosts, so I am told,” said 45 year old Mr Savage, who already owns the Office night club in Cheltenham. The Cotswold stone inn, which has ten letting bedrooms as well as a bar and restaurant, is due for changes but not before Mr Savage and his staff have consulted regulars and neighbours about what they want. “I want to see it as a typical Olde English inn, serving good food and drink,” said Mr Savage.
“I am told that ghosts still haunt the inn but I cannot find anyone who claims to have seen them,” said Mr Savage.
Stroud News & Journal. Letters to the editor, 3rd August 2000: Pub ghosts have been seen and heard.
Madam – In the Journal of 1st August 2000, you published an item concerning The Ragged Cot’s change of ownership. In that piece you mentioned the ghosts of the wife and child of the landlord, Clavers. You stated that you have been unable to find anyone who has seen the ghosts. When I first came to Hampton Fields, almost 16 years ago, I made the Ragged Cot my regular watering hole. at the time it was owned and run by Leo, the landlord and his daughter. One day we were talking about the ghosts and his daughter told me she had seen the ghosts on more than one occasion. When the pub changed hands and Mike Case and his wife bought it, Mike told me that although he had never seen the coach and horses that are supposed to drive along the road outside the Ragged Cot on dark nights, both he and his wife had heard it on several occasions.
I thought this anecdote might be of interest.
Chas G K Hooker, Beeches Park, Hampton Fields, Minchinhampton.
The Ragged Cot was taken over by Marstons plc in 2007 and had an extensive refurbishment before re-opening in April 2008. It was leased to Bristol based Kings Clubs Inns. The Ragged Cot specialised in fine food but there was room for anyone who wanted to drop in for a pint.
After a period of closure, the Ragged Cot reopened on the 28th August 2020 after being acquired by The Gastro Pub & Hotel Co. They branded themselves as a contemporary Gastro Pub & Boutique Hotel with a mix of country luxury complimented with superb hospitality. ‘We have a number of public areas as well as 9 hotel rooms to prepare daily for our guests.’
Map Reference: SO 887012
Owner in 1891: Messrs. Cook, Tetbury Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £15.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Full
Owner in 1903: Messrs. Cook, Tetbury Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £15.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Full
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Owner in 2007: Marstons Plc
Landlords at the Ragged Cot include:
1760 Bill Clavers
1885,1891 Charles Townsend
1902 William Hiron
1903 Henry Hiron
1906,1919 Mrs Harriet Hiron
1927 John H. Kennedy
1932-1948 Harry Cecil Cox
? Ray and May Chew
1991 Margaret & Mike Case
1996,2000 Nick Winch
2001 Simon Taylor (General Manager)
? Andrew George McKenzie
2000 David Savage
2005 Alastair and Sarah Sadler
2006 David & Mellanie ?
2008 Mike Johnston
2008 Shaun Sapstead (Manager)