In the 1903 licensing book of Gloucestershire alehouses and beer houses the Rising Sun was tied to the Monmouth Brewery – one of only two pubs in the county tied to the Welsh Brewery. In 1898 the Monmouth Brewery, located in the towns St Mary Street, was under the ownership of Searle & Co. The brewery owned by Vincent & Co. in 1901, H.Tippins in 1920 and Harry W. Rowland in 1923.
It seems that the Monmouth Brewery purchased the Rising Sun from the previous owner Margaret Young who in 1891 ran the ale house free of brewery tie. The Rising Sun had an annual rateable value of £14.0s.0d. and closed at 10 pm in 1903.
In more recent years (1970’s & 80’s) the pub sold beer from Allied Breweries and the signage indicated that Ansells Ales from Birmingham were available.
Forest of Dean & Ross-on-Wye Pubs. A critical guide by Jon Hurley (booklet, 1991): This totally renewed old pub is now all bare stone, beams, blazing logs and Lasagne, a distant cry from what it was not too long ago. Now seated by knobbly legged tables punters can comfortably sip their excellent Burton’s ales and peruse the menu. Plonk is available by the glass and the only intrusive noise is the tedious banalities of Radio One Jock Simon Bates whose juvenile smuttiness, alas, could not be ignored. There is another slightly more basic bar with a dart board.
In February 1997 it had a change of identity as the Gamekeepers Inn, of which it is still known today. At the time of re-opening the menu included such exotic dishes as kangaroo and wild boar.
In March 1998 a fire broke out at the Gamekeepers Inn caused by an electrical fault in the central heating system. The fire gutted the kitchen and lounge bar. Licensee Lawrence Brown, his wife, three children and two dogs were led to safety through a bedroom window. It opened again on July 24th 1998 after a massive refurbishment and redecoration inside and out. In 2000 Lawrence’s luck changed. He placed a 50 pence combination trifecta bet on the first three horses to pass the finishing post at the Grand National and won £9,000. Bad luck, however, returned on the morning of Saturday 20th October 2001 when the pub was deluged with rain water from flash flooding.
Landlords at the Rising Sun / Gamekeepers Inn include:
1861 John Williams
1870 Margaret Ashby
1871, 1879 James Young
1885 John Brown
1889,1891 Benjamin Young.
1891 Margaret Young
1902 – 1910 James Cooper
1919 Ernest Byatt
1927 Mrs E. Byatt – married Mr Aston
1939 Mrs E. Aston stayed at the Rising Sun until 1952
1952-1981 Ivor Cox
1981 John Yates.
1998,2001 Lawrence and Clare Brown