The Royal Oak was owned by the Forest Brewery in Mitcheldean. It was a licensed beer house with an annual rateable value of £11.4s.0d. in 1891 and 1903. Closing time was at 10 pm.
Yorkley would have been a great place for a pub crawl in late Victorian times. Beer drinkers could enjoy the local Wintle’s Forest Brewery ales at the Royal Oak then nip over the road for a pint of Stroud Ales at the George. A quick walk down the hill to the Stag Inn for a pint of Tewkesbury Brewery ale followed by a walk back up the hill to enjoy a pint of Anglo-Bavarian Somerset ale at the Bailey Inn. If time allowed there was always the opportunity to sample more Stroud beer at the Nags Head.
When the property of the Forest Brewery in Mitcheldean was put up for auction in 1923 the sale particulars described the Royal Oak at Yorkley as a freehold beer house with a bar, smoke room, beer store, kitchen and wash-house on the ground floor. On the first floor there were two bedrooms and a club room. To the rear and at the side there was a ‘garden, pig cots, closet and stabling for two’. It was a stone built building and the property was let to Mrs Phillips, ‘a tenant of about 29 years’ standing , on quarterly tenancy of £26 per annum. This included a ‘meadow with valuable frontage and two adjoining cottages ‘which the tenant sub-lets at a total inclusive rent of £13 per annum.’
The Royal Oak was almost opposite the George Inn. There is a private residence called Royal Oak Cottage.
Landlords at the Royal Oak include:
1891 James Jones
1903,1923 Emily Phillips
1939 Leonard Hy. Lee
1950’s Ivor and Gladys Ellis
? Edwin Brown (then moved to the Bailey Inn)
No date – Basil & Peggy James (They moved to the Queens Head in Lydney. After 29 years as publicans they retired in July 1991)