13th century inn on the Thames, originally the alms house of a priory dissolved in 1472. An old photograph shows the pub with the sign ‘Bowlys Entire’ (no ‘e’) prominent. The Trout Inn had a long association with the Courage Brewery.
Wilts & Glos Standard, Saturday 16th February 1901 – Lechlade. Angling Matters: The recent gale put the Thames sadly out of order in this district, but up to that time some good sport was had with pike, perch and one chub, one gentleman one day getting three brace of jack, his last fish being about six pounds, and another got a nice pike in the St John’s Bridge waters of seven-and-a-half pounds. The course fishing season closes on 15th March. Mr Daniel Bowyer, of The Trout, has entered his eightieth year and is still hale and hearty.
From the Trout Inn website: History:
Around 1220 the old wooden bridge over the Thames at Lechlade was replaced with a stone one. To house the workmen entrusted with the building of it, a hospital or almshouse dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, was founded by Peter Fitzherbert. In 1472, the main priory was dissolved by Edward IV, but the almshouse continued as an inn known as ‘Ye Sygne of St John Baptist Head’ until 1704, when the name was changed to The Trout Inn.
Ancient Fishery Rights granted by Royal Charter to the Brethren are still held by The Trout Inn, which controls two miles of trout and coarse fishing waters. You cannot fish directly from the Trout land these days, but the stretch of water on the south bank between the lock and Lechlade can be used during the open season, and a bailiff patrols this and collects the fees from the bank.
Wilts & Glos Standard, 13th November 1997 – Close shaves benefit charity: Two medical charities are to each receive £1,200 thanks to a hair-raising event. Penny Warren, landlady of The Trout Inn at Lechlade, and her sister Liz Wyatt, the pub’s cook, both had their heads shaved for charity as part of a traction and steam weekend earlier this year. During the marathon sponsored snip the pair lost a total of 72 inches as Swindon barber Wayne Hayward and RAF Brize Norton stylist Kay Smith gave them the shortest of back and sides.
The weekend raised in total £2,400 which was split between Cheltenham-based Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund Crack Cancer Campaign and the Macmillan Cancer Fund.
Wilts & Glos Standard, 10th June 1999 – Annual fair goes full steam ahead: Steam and engineering enthusiasts gathered at The Trout Inn in Lechlade at the weekend for their seventh annual fair. Attractions included a steamroller, two tractors, riparian boats and a display by the Swindon Model Boat Club. Also on show was a steam powered stone crusher and bench saw, which demonstrated its power by cutting up some large tree trunks.
“The idea is to have a few beers, have a chat and go home at the end of the weekend,” said Bob Warren, landlord of The Trout. “I have this lovely place in the country and I just like to get together here every now and again,” he said.
Wilts & Glos Standard, 8th October 1998 – Gig cash to help others: Money raised from this year’s ‘Cotswold Capers’, a three day summer folk gig, is to be handed over to the Cobalt Unit Appeal Fund on Saturday, 10th. The cheque for more than £1,100 will be presented at the Trout Inn, Lechlade, to Patricia Ward, the appeals co-ordinator, by Cotswolds Capers co-ordinator Barrie Day. The fund was set ip to raise £1 million for an advanced cancer treatment machine for the Oncology Centre at Cheltenham General Hospital.
Wilts & Glos Standard, Thursday 3rd October 2013 – Celebrate pub team’s 25 years of business: Mathew and Zac moved into the historic Trout Inn on October 5th 1988. The Trout was a well-established business but not much changed for the first few months as they settled into life on the river. Steering the Trout from a restaurant to a food-led pub brought its own problems but within two years they trebled the volume of business.
Not alone though, with enthusiastic back-up from sister Liz and her husband Geoff (Liz was later to join full time), the family went from strength to strength. With Mathew, Annie Dix (who is still at The Trout 25 years on) and a strong forces of local young people as staff, they became part of the local team.
Music has been a great part of the Trout’s character from the first with a great following of jazz enthusiasts who still follow them today. Bands from America, Australia, Holland and Germany have enhanced the local groups to make a kaleidoscope of varied music for customers’ enjoyment. The Riverfolk Club has brought a new perspective with a very successful Riverfolk Festival annually in the garden overlooking the weir pool.
Their steam show has been going for over 20 years and it is permanently marked in local steam enthusiasts’ diaries. With a traditional boat meeting, Trout Fest, village fete, Giffords’ circus, concerts, plays, four religious services – Christmas, Easter, Songs of Praise in summer and harvest festival – The Trout has become an important part of village life. A high spot was the most unexpected award of the Howard Dowler Shield for community and charity work.
Bob, Penny, Mathew, Liz and Annie have have enjoyed a quarter of a century living in this idyllic setting and are going to celebrate with a pig roast on Saturday, October 5th and would like to welcome friends, staff and families to join them to toast their anniversary.
Map Reference: SU 223991
Owner in 1891: A.R & W.S. Prideau of Goldsmiths Hall, London (leased Stroud Brewery)
Rateable Value in 1891: £26.11s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: R.B. Bowley, North Wilts Brewery, Swindon
Rateable Value in 1903: £26.11s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Trout Inn include:
1840’s Benjamin Hodges
1856 J. Willesdon
1885,1906 Daniel Bowyer
1919 Mrs Bowyer
1927,1939 James Ayliffe
1977-1986 Ian Manners
1989,2007 Bob and Penny Warren
2023 Penny Warren