Redmarley D’Abitot is in the north western corner of Gloucestershire, not far from the Herefordshire county border. In fact, the Gloucestershire licensing books of 1891 and 1903 make no reference to the Rose & Crown at Redmarley as the village was administered from Hereford. The Rose and Crown, prominent on the A417 Gloucester to Ledbury road at Playley Green, was originally a simple brick built pub. Part of the Rose and Crown was once used as a rent office and, at one time, glove makers came to the inn to collect and pay for the gloves the local women had made at home.
Flowers Brewery of Stratford on Avon produced a brochure in May 1961 called “Where to pick Flowers in the Midlands.” The Rose & Crown is listed as having car parking facilities and snacks. The guide had a colour code to differentiate the quality of each pub. Red was ‘facilities of an exceptionally high standard’, Blue was ‘facilities of a high standard’ and Black was ‘facilities of a good standard’. The Rose & Crown fell into the later category.
Advertisement Feature: The Citizen, Tuesday December 17th, 1985: ‘Snug as bugs in the village pub’ – A pleasant drive through the matchless Gloucestershire countryside along the A4127 towards Ledbury, through Staunton, and up to the brow of a hill of a hill from which you can see – just where the road winds in the direction of Redmarley – the Rose & Crown pub. It has recently had a multi-thousand pound refit, but one thing above all others took precedence with licensee Mrs Jenny Long. She said: “Whenever we had friends visiting us after they had been abroad they always asked me to keep the pub just as it is. They appreciated the ‘feel’ of the pub and we decided its essential character must be retained. That meant being two pubs in one – with a bar and lounge. The pub is historically linked to Redmarley – that was something that attracted us from the outset – the idea of a pub where people can gather.”
The first licence was granted to the pub in 1862. In those days villagers from Redmarley who were involved in the local cottage industry of glove making, met the buyer from a Worcester firm at the Rose & Crown to haggle over prices.
The refit ensures much more comfort for thirsty and hungry patrons. The lounge has been completed with plush red fittings to give it a cosy, warm feel. It can’t be put down to the new central heating system either because the lounge has a welcoming log fire to cheer winter visitors. The bar has also been revamped in the refit which includes a newly equipped kitchen.
Jenny and her husband Keith – who works for a firm in Gloucester – have been at the pub for eighteen months. They used to run the Park View Hotel, Weston Road, Gloucester. “Running the pub is a 17-hour a day job, but the refit has helped a lot. It has given us more space and room to serve,” said Mrs Long. “A great deal of our trade is local. We have the football, tennis and cricket teams meeting here and the pub has its own darts and skittles sides. The Jaguar drivers meet here as well,” she said, “no doubt because of the ample car-parking.”
The pub menu – served at lunch time and in the evening – is a blend of home cooked dishes ranging from steaks to traditional country offerings such as ploughman’s lunches and Gloucester sausages. One of the pub’s greatest assets is the functions and recreations hall. Built in the style of a village hall it has pool and skittles facilities. Said Mrs Long: “It is an ideal room to hold a dance or birthday party. In fact we held a local harvest auction recently to raise money for Redmarley’s St. Bartholomew’s Church.”
Despite the recent improvements Mr and Mrs Long are still planning for the future. “We hope that we might be able to have a small restaurant eventually. So far Plan A seems to have been successful not only with regulars but with visitors like Americans and Australians who want to see what an English pub and its beer are like”. And what is the most important thing in a pub? Jenny Long smiled: “A friendly atmosphere and helpful staff.”
Over the years the Rose and Crown has been much enlarged. A recent and innovative development has been the creation of a village shop on the premises.
Apart from the Rose and Crown there was at least another pub the parish. In the middle of Redmarley there is a private residence, almost opposite the church, that has the name the Inn House (Map Reference SO 752313).
This page will be updated with additional information.
Landlords at the Rose & Crown include:
1939 R. Wycliffe James
1985 Jenny Long
1988,1998 Kathy and Robin Bunnett
2008 Eric Woolley and Sue Williams