Set in an isolated position deep in the Forest of Dean off the road that leads from Parkend to Yorkley, the Rising Sun was originally built in the early 1800’s to serve the coal mining industry – there were once ten pit shafts within half a mile radius. At the entrance to the Rising Sun is an old mining wheel, which was used on the pit nearest to the pub.
Towards the end of the 19th century Charles Garton had taken on the brewing business of Walter Williams of the Lawrence Hill Brewery in Bristol. The brewery was located at the junction of Easton Road and Lawrence Hill and motorists negotiating the busy one-way system around the Lawrence Hill gyratory system would not even know that a brewery was ever there. Charles Garton inherited a small pub estate in Cheltenham and there was also a scattering of Garton pubs in the Forest. They supplied their beer to the Rock in Hillersland, the Travellers Rest in Aylburton, the Riflemans Arms and Railway Inn in Lydney and the Rising Sun in Moseley Green. All deliveries must have been done on horse dray. The logistics of getting their beer distributed over a large area must have taken time and it is hard to see how it was profitable. Perhaps that was one of the reasons that the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery of Shepton Mallet acquired Garton’s in 1898 even though it is hard to understand why a Somerset based brewer would want to own a portfolio of pubs scattered in the Forest of Dean and as far north as Cheltenham.
The annual rateable value of the beer house was £14.0s.0d. and, not surprisingly considering its isolated location, closing time was at 10 pm. Ownership of the Rising Sun later passed through the succession of brewers at the Cheltenham Brewery, from Cheltenham Original, Cheltenham & Hereford, West Country and Whitbread. A legacy of its past brewery ownership is a ‘West Country Ales – 1760 – Best in the West’ ceramic plaque that it still in place.
Kevin and Jean Howell bought the pub from Whitbread in 1976. It was renovated and extended by the owners in 1982 to include a skittle alley / function room, a balcony and the bars were enlarged. In 1989 a patio area was constructed using forest stone and flagstones which could seat fifty people. In 1992 a children’s play area was erected utilising forest timber. The Rising Sun also boasts one of the best balcony views in the Forest where customers can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Dean.
Forest of Dean & Ross-on-Wye Pubs. A critical guide by Jon Hurley (booklet, 1991): When we called it was having its occasional touch up, and understandably not firing on all cylinders. Superbly located in an isolated spot, with sunny banks and a fish pool behind and lying close to newly planted softwoods. Wonderful for sitting out in the Summer months. Worth another visit one day.
After 30 years as landlords of the Rising Sun, Kevin and Jeanette Howell retired in 2006. They were replaced by Michael and Avis Robinson in September 2006. The Rising Sun is popular with walkers and cyclists enjoying the nearby woodland tracks and trails that the Forest of Dean offers.
The Forest of Dean branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) voted the Rising Sun their Pub of the Year in 2018. The reviews of Trip Advisor are also positive.
Landlords at the Rising Sun include:
1876 ? John Harry (listed as a beer retailer, Moseley Green. No name of premises)
1891 Reuben Nash
1903 Thomas Guest
1939 Oswald James
1976-2006 Kevin and Jeanette Howell
2006 Michael and Avis Robinson