Gatcombe is a small village on the banks of the River Severn. It was once one of the Forest of Dean’s busiest ports and the waterfront once had a quay, pier and a slipway. Timber was shipped to Plymouth from here for the construction of ocean going sailing vessels. There was also a thriving salmon fishing industry
The Ship Inn was an early 19th century hostelry located at the property now called the Court House, on the west side of the hamlet of Gatcombe, standing above the riverside. It is known that the Ship was the meeting place for the Etloe Duchy Manor Court. When the Ship Inn closed in the late 1820’s or soon afterwards, the property became known as the Court House. The building, though largely of the 19th century, incorporates an early 17th-century range, which includes a room with moulded and chamfered beams.
Historian and retired teacher Ann Bayliss passed away in February 2008. She was born in Gatcombe and lived in the house that was once the Ship Inn. It had been in her family since 1878. Her great grandfather moved to the Severnside hamlet of Gatcombe to become a salmon fisherman and ran the pub in its heyday, making cider from local apples in the attached cider house.