Stonebench is to the east of Elmore on the southern bank of the River Severn. It is a popular place to watch the Severn Bore. The Stonebench Inn dates back to 1729 and was once used by traders travelling up the river to Gloucester.
The Gloucester Journal reported on 14th February 1903: “At the Gloucester County Police Court on Saturday afternoon, before the Reverend C.E. Dighton and other magistrates, Henry Arnold, innkeeper of the Stonebench Inn at Elmore, was summoned at the instance of P.C. Clement Timms for having been drunk whilst in charge of a horse and trolley at Quedgeley on January 30th 1903. P.C. Timms stated that at quarter past three on the afternoon of Friday30th January he was in Rea Lane when he saw the defendant driving a horse and trolley. The defendant, who was drunk, was sitting on a barrel from which he rolled onto the trolley and thence to the ground. P.C. Timms followed the defendant to the Stonebench Inn and when he got off the trolley he could hardly stand. Mr Arnold staggered about so much the witness was obliged to get someone to assist.”
The Stonebench Inn called ‘last orders’ for the final time in 1948. Over 50 years later the red brick inn was still standing but in an advanced state of dereliction – the tiled roof had partly collapsed exposing the timbers and the wooden window frames had rotted away.
In 2003 the land surrounding the inn was purchased for the construction of a new residential property and the owner expressed his wish to renovate the old Stonebench Inn for possible use as a museum dedicated to the Severn Bore. However, part of the planning agreement stipulated by Stroud District Council was the removal of all the standing buildings on the site.
Map Reference: SO 798148
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1891: John Arnold, High Street Brewery, Wickwar
Rateable Value in 1903: £29.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Arnold Perrett & Co. Ltd., Wickwar Brewery
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Stonebench Inn include:
1856 J. Lane
1885,1906 Henry Arnold
1919,1927 William James Keen