The Royal Oak is located at Bibstone an area in Cromhall.

Part of the Royal Oak dates back to the 14th century and a date on a fireplace says 1674. The modern extension has obscured most of the original building.

The cellar was used for cart building by the Cornock family who were carters as well as landlords. The story goes that after one cart had been built, it had to be dismantled to remove it!

The glass covered well features in the bar area and has fresh spring water flowing through it.

In 2022 the Royal Oak was voted Dursley & District CAMRA Pub of the Year.

The Cornock family

The Citizen: Thursday, November 30th, 1989: Bucket of best, please – An ancient right to draw water from an historic well was exercised recently – in the centre of a newly refurbished pub. The 45 ft deep Cromhall well was discovered while work was in progress at the Royal Oak in Wotton-under-Edge (sic)  and has now been made an attractive feature of the lounge bar. So licensees Bob & Cathy Harris may well find locals dropping in for the odd bucket of water as well as the odd pint as part of a medieval right given to villagers. It is believed the last time the well was in active use was during the Second World War. The refurbishment and expansion at the Royal Oak had cost £250,000 and Whitbread West Country has worked in conjunction with English Heritage to preserve many old features including some 17th century roof timbers.

Refurbishment time in 1989

Refurbishment time in 1989. The well that was discovered is by the red and white barrier.

The Gazette Series, 23rd June 2000 – Ancient well is a Royal attraction: The Royal Oak, Cromhall, boasts one of the most unusual attractions a pub could possess. It has a 70 ft. well in the middle of the bar area. Landlady Jane Rees said the well always created a lot of interest and last year attracted nationwide attention when a world-renowned cave diver went almost to the bottom. Miss Rees added the well was originally in the courtyard of the building but when the pub was extended it became a focal point inside. The well is such a part of the village history that some of the older cottages have it in their deeds that they are allowed to draw water from it.

Part of the Royal Oak building dates back to the 14th century and part of the dining room was built in 1674. Miss Rees feels the fact that the pub is relatively unspoilt and has an older style adds character. The Royal Oak is a Whitbread-leased pub. It serves real ales – Bass, 6X and RCH brewed Pitchfork. It also has two ciders on tap – Stowford Press and Blackthorn. Other beers incude Flowers Best, Stella and Guinness. The pub serves food every lunchtime and in the evening from Tuesday to Saturday.

The Royal Oak’s customers are split into three distinct groups. The inn has locals, regular diners and a passing trade, which comes mostly from the motorway. The pub provides musical entertainment every Saturday night in the form of a singer or a duo. And there is an occasional Thursday night sing-song.

Royal Oak - Bibstone, Cromhall

The glass top on the left covers the ancient well which was outside for parishioners to use until a pub extension was built to bring it indoors.

Tony Bryant and his European eagle owl with landlady Cath – Beer Festival 2021

Buster Cox with his steam engine – Beer Festival 2021

Royal Oak - Cromhall beer festival staff
Landlady Cath in centre with staff at the beer festival 2021

Tractor Run – Raising money for charity – August 2021

Royal Oak customer Henry Shine from Charfield – Aged 87 – Photo taken 30th June 2022

Dursley & District Sub-branch of CAMRA, report: November 2023: The Royal Oak in Cromhall has been forced to close its kitchen completely because of the impossibility of finding a chef to take it on, and has thus become a wet sales pub only. This is a sad development in what was, only two years ago, our sub-branch Pub of the Year.

Licensing Records:

Owner in 1891: Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd., Wickwar Brewery

Rateable Value in 1891: £9.12s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd., Wickwar Brewery

Rateable Value in 1903: £19.5s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Closing time in 1903: 10pm

Landlords at the Royal Oak include:

1856 J. Phillimore

1885,1891 George Andrews

1902 Robert Tarvin

1903 Henry Ernest Herniman

1906 Theda Parfitt (Mrs)

1919,1939 William Henry Cornock

1971 – ? Dougie Bowden

1989 Bob & Cathy Harris

1999 Paul and Jane Rees

2001 Allan and Sue Hamilton

Cath and Andy Ross

Share this Page: