The original frontage of the Ship Inn faced the Stroudwater navigation and the inn was a popular haunt of bargees and canal users. When the canal became obsolete passing trade came from motorists using the A419 and the alignment of the pub was changed in successive enlargements. The pub closed in February 1997 to make way for a road-widening scheme. In 2023, according to Google Maps, the site of the Ship Inn has yet to be developed.

The Citizen, 9th June 1969 – Boy cyclist hurt: The son of a Stonehouse licensee received head injuries in a road accident yesterday. Nigel Jones, 15-year-old son of Fred Jones, landlord of the Ship Inn, was said today to be “fairly comfortable.”

Nigel was riding his bicycle when he was involved in a collision with a car on the Stonehouse to Eastington Road. Driver, Mr Maxwell Walkley (27) of Fairview Villa, Bath Road, Stroud, escaped with cuts and shock. His wife was also treated for shock.

The Citizen, 10th November 1982 – On target for a record? Charity fund raisers at Stonehouse are hoping their darts marathon will be right on target. A superleague team are attempting to score a record 1,000,001 to gain entry into he Guinness Book of Records.

The side are planning to play at the Ship Inn, Stonehouse, from 26th November. It will probably take them some 48 hours to beat the record of 39,566 darts. “The last record was set at 53 hours, 10 minutes. We hope to take just over 48 hours” league secretary Algy Curtis said.

The Citizen, Monday 29th November 1982 – Bid misses target: Marathon darts players at Stonehouse have failed to make it a bullseye. When the sponsored superleague team finished playing in the early hours of this morning they had thrown 48,009 darts and scored 1,000,001. But the average score per dart was not high enough to ask for an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, where the record at the moment stands with a higher average of 39,566.

The eight strong team began at the Ship Inn, Stonehouse, on Friday night and ended their non-stop darts match at two minutes past 2am today. “They were disappointed but they knew fairly early on their averages were not high enough,” said landlady Mrs Barbara Cotter. But the main pleasure the side gained was knowing their efforts have raised hundreds of pounds for charity. The Cheltenham Cobalt Unit will benefit when cash is collected from the team’s sponsors.

Courtesy Stonehouse History Group

On the 1986 August Bank Holiday, a team of eight regulars from the Ship Inn took part in a marathon quoits match in aid of the local meningitis Research Appeal Fund. They started at 8 o’clock on Friday evening and played on continuously until Sunday evening. The Ship also hosted a barbeque, outside skittles, a car boot sale and a disco during the weekend.

The Citizen Wednesday February 26th 1997: Pub’s last orders… The landlady of a Stonehouse pub due to be demolished to make way for the town’s bypass is inviting customers for one last knees-up. The Ship Inn closes its doors for the very last time tomorrow evening. Local band Strats will be playing the Ship’s swansong with a ‘last orders’ performance tomorrow. Landlady Debbie Townsend said the pub is also open today as usual.’

Stroud District Council. Planning application. April 1997: S.97/405 Demolition of the Ship Inn, Bristol Road, Stonehouse.

Stroud News & Journal, 2nd June 1999 – Work to begin on the A419: The final £1.5 million stage of improvements to the A419 between Stroud and the M5 is due to stat on Monday, June 7th June. The work involves the widening and realignment of Bristol Road to the south of Stonehouse immediately to the west of the Horsetrough roundabout.

Dorien Whiting, Gloucestershire County Council’s project manager, said the scheme had been the subject of considerable public consultation. “The original proposal to construct a new carriageway to the south of the Ship Inn was abandoned in favour of the present scheme, which required the demolition of four houses and a public house,” he said.

The contract has been awarded to Ringway Highway Services and is due for completion around Christmas.

Stroud News & Journal, 28th February 2001 – New centre for troubled kids: The site of the former Ship Inn near Stonehouse, has been earmarked for a custom built education centre for pupils with attendance and other problems. If the 24-place pupil referral centre gets the go-ahead, it will house the small establishment currently at Whitminster, which is due to close in September when the Parklands campus it shares with other units sold.

The application for outline planning permission will be heard by the county council, with Stroud Council acting as a consultee.

Stroud News & Journal, 26th September 2001 – Controversy rages over former pub site: Controversy is raging once again over the future of the former Ship Inn site in Stonehouse. Residents who campaigned successfully against a pupil referral centre centre being built on the Bridgend site were dismayed to learn this week that Gloucestershire County Council has applied for outline planning permission for a residential development.

On Monday campaign leader, Mike Giles, repeated that the town had been promised recreational and leisure facilities on the site once improvements to the road through Bridgend had been completed. “But unfortunately it was never put in writing,” said Mr Giles. “The county council issued a direct threat to build houses if the referral centre didn’t go ahead, it is just profiteering.”

Image Courtesy Dave Kirby

Stroud News & Journal, 19th December 2001 – Inn’s future in balance: The future of the former Ship Inn site at Bridgend is in the balance once again. The application from landowners Gloucestershire County council for outline planning permission for a residential development was turned down at Tuesday’s meeting of the Stroud District Council development control committee.

The recent proposals had been greeted by a storm of protest from Stonehouse residents, who sent a total of 111 letters of objection to Stroud District Council. The scheme had also drawn an angry response from MP David Drew, who asked the county council what had happened to plans for a canal visitor centre on the site.

Stonehouse residents have long claimed that the site was promised foe leisure facilities following the modification of the A419. But Gloucestershire County Council has said that there are no records to this effect.

The site of the Ship Inn

The Citizen, 10th October 2002 – Victory for canalside campaigners: Campaigners in Stonehouse are dreaming of new waterside recreational facilities after winning a planning battle to stop housing development on the banks of a local canal. Residents in the town, and especially those living around the site of the former Ship Inn, were celebrating, their spokesman Mike Giles said:” It is a victory for the residents. Everyone is absolutely delighted that common sense has prevailed.”

The Ship pub was a major loss to the town when it was demolished to make way for widening of the motorway feeder road. Chairman of Stonehouse Town Council, Councillor Mattie Ross said: “This is a very good result for Stonehouse. Personally I would like to see a pub built there. The canal is going to be restored and we want to be part of that scene. People would sail up the canal, stop off at the pub and take the lovely walk up Regent Street into Stonehouse.”

The Citizen, 13th July 2013 – Future say on Ship Inn site: Residents will be canvassed this summer for their views on the future of the former Ship Inn site in Stonehouse. A questionnaire has been agreed for circulation to people living near the old pub land between the canal and the A419. Stonehouse Community Partnership is leasing the initiative which its chairman John Jeynes said was to gain evidence for negotiations about the future use of the site.

The Cotswold Canals Project has launched its project to restore waterways through the Stroud valleys, which is no nearing completion. The former Ship Inn site had therefore become an ideal spot where boats could moor, visitors assemble, and from which tourists could stroll into Stonehouse town centre.

A spokesman for Stroud District Council said: “The land which is currently owned by Gloucestershire County Council will shortly be transferred into our ownership.”

The Citizen, 15th October 2014 – Planned petrol station is criticised: Town councillors have expressed disappointment following a decision to sell the Ship Inn site in Stonehouse. The decision to sell the land to developers who want to build a petrol station was made at a planning meeting of Stroud District Council’s strategy and resources committee on Thursday, 2nd October.

Town councillors have long opposed the sale of the site by the canal in Bristol Road, saying it should be used to encourage tourism. A spokesman for the council said: “The decision to turn the site into a petrol station will not enhance the area or bring visitors to the town. The town council made every attempt to acquire the site as a community asset but this was rejected by Stroud District Council. Stonehouse residents must be wondering why they were ignored.”

A spokesman for Stroud District Council said: “We will be negotiating the sale of the land with the preferred bidder who will also need to submit an appropriate planning application in due course.”

Stroud News & Journal, 26th July 2017 – Former Pub: Members of Stonehouse Town Council discussed the importance of the Ship Inn pub site at a meeting. Councillors were disappointed that the site, which sits on the canal, is set to be developed into flats and not into a place which boats can come and go.

Many councillors were of the opinion that an opportunity had missed to develop the site into a popular café that would attract people to stop in Stonehouse and visit the town, thus boosting the local economy. Councillor for Stonehouse Lesley Williams believed something should have been done to create a café or bar similar to Kitsch in Ebley.

Stroud News & Journal, Wednesday 28th November 2018 – Canalside house plan on old pub site thrown out: Councillors have rejected a plan for affordable housing which Stonehouse residents feared would leave them unable to make use of the canal. Yesterday afternoon, Tuesday, Stroud District Council, planning committee decided the fate of land off Bristol Road that was part of the site of a canalside pub, The Ship Inn.

District councillors voted against building residential units on the land, despite pleas from some that the district faced a long waiting lost of families desperate for low-cost housing. In the wings of the meeting sat a group of residents protesting the plans, arguing the council was running rough-shod over a promise to keep the site for community use. They feared the plan would leave Stonehouse out of the next stage of canal regeneration, a bid for which is currently in the works. “This is a really key site of terms of the canal regeneration, and also keeping Stonehouse a vibrant town,” said Jo Byrne who had organised a petition. “Once this canal stretch has been joined this is the only site that will give direct access users for canal users themselves as well as residents and people visiting the town.”

However, a spokesman for Stroud District Council had stressed the plan necessary in the face of the cost of the canal. “SDC took the site on to provide much-needed social housing – and income for the canal project.”

Stroud News & Journal, Wednesday 19th December 2018 – What happens next to old Ship Inn site? The Question of what to do with a plot of land by the canal in Stonehouse now faces two councils and a newly formed community group. Stroud District Council’s plan for nine affordable houses on the former site of the Ship Inn off Bristol was rejected by its councillors on planning last month.

Those in favour had pointed to the council’s long waiting list for social housing but such arguments lost out to conservation concerns and the protest of neighbours fearing Stonehouse was about to lose a prime spot for taking advantage of the canal.

Since the decision, the council has withdrawn the application to consider “other options” – and residents have formed a group, the Ship Inn Project Stonehouse (ShIPS), to come up with their own ideas.

Licensing Details:

Rateable Value in 1891: £17.0s.0d.

Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery

Type of licence in 1891: Beerhouse

Rateable Value in 1903: £16.10s.0d.

Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery

Type of licence in 1903: Beerhouse

Closing time in 1903: 11pm

Landlords at the Ship Inn include:

1891 George Grimes

1903 Alexander Scott

1927,1939 Albert William Love

1969 Fred Jones

1982 Barbara Cotter

1985 Bob Clayton

1997 Debbie Townsend

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