51 Lewis Lane in 1919 directory.
The name refers to the ring of twelve bells in the parish church of St. John the Baptist. The bells were cast by Rudhall of Gloucester in the early 1700’s and are the oldest ring of twelve bells in the country.
The Twelve Bells was probably the tap house for Bowly’s Cotswold Brewery which stood next door. The brewery was acquired by Cripps Cirencester Brewery in 1896 and converted to a flour mill. The old Bowly’s Brewery has now been transformed into luxurious flats and apartments.
In 1993 Bob Ashley, a local builder, decided he wanted to own his own pub. The Twelve Bells was then a derelict local and had been closed for some time. Three weeks after taking over the pub, the front bar opened for business. Over the following months Bob continued the sensitive refurbishment keeping to a traditional style and used recycled material whenever possible. The front bar has exposed floorboards and quarry tiles and is fitted out with simple furniture. Two panelled back rooms offer solitude and would not look out of place in a 1900’s beerhouse. Bob established himself as one of Cirencester’s great characters and his caustic wit and wisdom in all things was legendary. Sadly Bob has now passed away, but he certainly put the Twelve Bells on the real ale map – It was voted Gloucestershire Pub of the Year by the Gloucestershire Branch of CAMRA in March 2001.
A small micro-brewery was set up at the Twelve Bells, trading as Ciren Ales. The brewing side of the pub has now ceased.
This page will be updated with additional information.
Owner in 1891: Cirencester Brewery
Rateable Value in 1891: £11.5s.0d.
Type of license in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Cirencester Brewery
Rateable Value in 1903: £11.5s.0d.
Type of license in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Twelve Bells include:
1870 William Hinton
1871 James Beaver
1891 George Henry Wicks (I was contacted by David Stevens who has an old whisky flask from the Twelve Bells inscribed with the name Wicks.)
1902,1906 William Thomas Tanner
1913 J.J. Hall
1919,1927 Tom Ravenhill
1939-1964 Victor Gillman
1973 Mr J.D. Meredith
1993 Robert (Bob) James Ashley