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Samuel Ayland is listed as the owner of the Royal Union Inn in both the 1891 and 1903 licensing returns books. In 1891 the licence was for a beer house and it had an annual rateable value of £18.10s.0d. At that time Samuel Ayland operated the pub free from brewery tie. Twelve years later the entry submitted to the licensing authorities altered significantly, suggesting that the pub had been extensively refurbished or even re-built. Samuel Ayland was still the owner in 1903, but the lease had been taken by Allsopp & Sons, brewers of Burton on Trent. The premise licence had been updated to ale house status and there was a remarkable new valuation of £42.10s.0d; a massive increase of twenty-four pounds. Perhaps the leaseholder funded the refurbishment in negotiation for an extended lease or even securing the freehold from Mr Ayland.

Courtesy Michael Wilkes

The Royal Union had a long association with Allsopp and Ind Coope breweries. In the early 1980’s the pub was branded as a Halls Oxford and West Brewery pub – selling Harvest Bitter brewed at the Ind Coope Brewery.

Pub Sign images Courtesy Michael Wilkes

The Gloucestershire CAMRA branch (Campaign for Real Ale) had their first meeting at the Royal Union in April 1975.

Landlords at the Royal Union include:

1870 William Meek

1878, 1891 Samuel Ayland

1902 George Walter Blundell

1903 George Walter Blunsden

1906 Alice Cole (Miss)

1939 Frank William Painter

1997,2000 Christopher Bayliss

2005 Derek Barnes

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