An inventory of property made by the Stroud Brewery Company in 1928, after the takeover of Godsell’s Brewery, lists the White Hart with ‘an orchard nearby and two cottages in the Street, Leonard Stanley.’
The twin gabled pub is near the impressive St. Swithun’s parish church.
Stroud News & Journal, 2nd December 1998 – Peggy recalls ‘glowing’ ghostly visitor: Leonard Stanley resident, Peggy Davies, has never forgotten the day that she saw the village’s ghostly monk over 60 years ago. Mrs Davies, who has lived in Leonard Stanley all her life, was just 10 when she, and her friends, spotted the ghostly figure and has never seen him since.
Mrs Davies, now 73, was with a group of young friends all those years ago outside the White Hart pub when they saw the monk. “We looked up and he must have come through the gate. He was ever so tall and glided down the path.” she said. “I wasn’t scared but some of the younger ones were,” adding that the monk glowed a pale green colour.
There have been other sightings of the hooded monk which is said to haunt St Swithun’s parish church. Former vicar, Canon E.S. Saleby often said that he had seen ‘his friend’ – the church’s hooded visitor.
The Citizen, Saturday 13th March 1999. Pubwatch – The White Hart: The village of Leonard Stanley straggles out among several miles of the Frome Valley. Near the village centre is the White Hart pub run by licensee Sue Helyer. It’s a traditional friendly pub that draws its customers from the scatter of communities that dot the valley in the area.
“I’ve only been here 11 months but it’s a friendly village pub,” said Sue. “I’m not exactly sure how old the pub is but some of the regulars probably go back 150 years! We are very much a beer and cider pub in the traditional sense. We don’t do food, it ruins the atmosphere. I moved here from Sussex and I love it. It is so friendly.”
Stroud News & Journal, January 2005 – Pubgoers boost tsunami funds: Generous punters at the White Hart Inn at Leonard Stanley raised more than £700 for the Tsunami appeal by donating the contents of their giant piggy bank. The pub chose to donate the annual cash gift to victims of the disaster after customers approached landlord Steve Price asking if the pub could help the appeal.
Stroud News & Journal, Wednesday 14th November 2007 – Smokers can eye up village: The White Hart Inn, Leonard Stanley, has responded to the smoking ban by creating a 25ft mural in its garden. Regulars sitting outside the pub will now be able to enjoy the giant art work created by artist Rosie Panks.
She said: “Having living in Leonard Stanley for the last 10 years, my inspiration came from a watercolour of the village church and the White Hart Inn which was painted in 1840 when Mark Anthony Fricker was the inn-keeper. So I thought why not bring the village into the village pub garden and that’s what I did. I have always wanted to work on a massive scale and this was a perfect opportunity.”
The mural measures 25ft by 7ft and has taken roughly six months to complete.
Stroud Life, 4th June 2008 – Meat’s on the menu as Tony takes up local pub: (by Jo Barber) When the new landlord of an historic Stroud village pub begins serving food he’ll be certain the meat is of the best quality. That’s because the new face behind the bar, and more importantly in the kitchen at the White Hart in Leonard Stanley is well-known local butcher Tony Spencer.
Mr Spencer, 33, and his wife Sinead, 30, have just taken over at the White Hart, which is believed to be more than 500 years old. They’ve been busy refurbishing and redecorating and the couple’s move to the country inn has reminded Mr Spencer of when he first worked there 13 years ago. Then, however, Mr Spencer was just an employee.
But now he’s returned as the boss of the Punch Taverns’ owned premises and is keen to develop his trade, especially in the White Hart’s restaurant. Mr Spencer, who already runs Tony’s Butchers in Stroud town centre, plans a traditional menu of steaks, faggots, sausages and mixed grills at the White Hart.
Stroud News & Journal, Advertising feature – 7th July 2010: Having managed the White Hart in Leonard Stanley for the past year, landlord John McIntyre so enjoyed the experience he is about to sign a five-year lease. John is working hard to make the pub the centre of village life, and is keen to welcome both locals and visitors to the pub.
One of the biggest changes made recently is outdoors. A huge amount of time and effort has been made reclaiming the overgrown garden, with the result that the outside space is now a real oasis, ideal for summer days. The relaxing sound of a water feature, tubs and hanging baskets overflowing with flowers and plenty of seating make this the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening.
What is particularly striking about the White Hart is how happily it accommodates all ages, from the group of regular Friday night cribbage players, people popping in for a post-work drink to wind down (the White Hart opens at 5pm), families (children are welcome in the bar until 9pm), to a younger crowd who gather round the pool table. All get along well and the atmosphere is warm and friendly with different groups mingling and adding to the general bonhomie.
An accomplished chef, John regularly serves refreshments such as sandwiches, cakes, tea and coffee to walkers by arrangement.
Stroud News, 25th May 2011 – ‘Help give artist plaque honour’: Famous artist Sir Stanley Spencer’s links with Leonard Stanley are to be commemorated with a blue heritage plaque. One of the great artists among British talents, the acclaimed painter stayed and worked for two years at the village’s White Hart pub, where the distinctive round ceramic plaque would go.
Jeremy Warner is among the enthusiasts promoting the idea of the plaque. He is the driving force behind an appeal to raise the final few hundred pounds of the £900 needed for the English Heritage style notice.
Stanley Spencer spent 1939 to 1941 staying and working at the White Hart. During his stay he produced many celebrated paintings including Burners and Welders, part of his ship building on the Clyde commission for the War Office, and both Priory Farm Pond and Daphne Spencer, which are in the Tate. Village Gossips, owned by the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum, was also painted at the White Hart.
Sir Stanley, who was knighted just before his death in 1959 and was a member of the Royal Academy, grew up and spent much of his time in Cookham, Berkshire, where there is a gallery dedicated to his life and work.
Gloucestershire Independent, 13th November 2014 – Scream masks worm in attempted pub robbery: Two men wearing Scream masks used tape and a scarf to restrain a female member of staff during an apparent attempted robbery at a pub in Leonard Stanley near Stonehouse. The incident happened at The White Hart Inn in The Street sometime between 11.55pm on Monday, November 3rd, and 12.25am Tuesday, November 4th.
Police say the offenders walked into the pub after closing time and were told by the victim that the pub was closed for the evening. One of the offenders swore at the victim and demanded she poured him a drink. The first offender smashed a glass on the counter and demanded a drink, while taking the victim’s scarf and wrapping it around her neck.
Before the offenders restrained the victim with tape, she poured the two men a drink which neither drunk. The men then left the pub.
The offenders are described as wearing dark clothing and Halloween masks first seen in the 1996 horror film Scream.
Advertisement / Promotion – 10th August 2016 -Warmest of welcomes at family friendly pub: The White Hart is a family friendly pub with a welcoming atmosphere and a variety of drink and food available – and a B&B opening soon.
On August 13th 2016 the pub is hosting a Chill & Grill festival from 2pm to 11pm with a country bumpkin theme to raise money for the James Hopkins Trust for severely disabled children. Join us for a family fun day with a barbecue and burgers from £1.50, a bouncy castle, live music and a raffle with amazing prizes such as month’s free gym membership, and a meal for two with the pub’s Italian chef, Giuseppe.
There is even a sponsored back wax offered as a prize. Make sure you dress up as the theme of the day is “country bumpkin” with prizes for the best dressed. All proceeds are going to the charity.
Chef Giuseppe offers a daily changing menu to keep customer’s taste buds interested. Fantastic recipes are made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Bar snacks are also available at the pub including burgers, pizza, pasta and the classic BLT.
Stroud News & Journal, 17th August 2016 – Pub manager thanks trust with fundraiser: A pub in Leonard Stanley raised £1,500 for a charity, which helps severely disabled children. Those manly enough to have their backs waxed raised £200 alone for The James Hopkins Trust. Manager of the White Hart Inn, Sara Turner, decided to throw the Chill ‘n’ Grill Fest in aid of the trust because of the support it gave her after her daughter was born.
Stroud District Council, Planning. March 2018: S.18/0311/FUL – The White Hart Inn, Leonard Stanley: Erection of ground floor and first floor extensions, ground floor bar and kitchen extension, two first-floor en-suite bedrooms.
Stroud News & Journal, 2nd January 2020 – Well known pub on the market for £495k: An ‘iconic’ pub is up for sale and could be yours. The White Hart in The Street, Leonard Stanley, near Stonehouse, is on the market for £495,000. The rural pub is described as ‘iconic’ on its website and has a blue plaque on the wall marking that artist Sir Stanley Spencer stayed and worked there.
Established in 1740, the Cotswold stone pub has an open plan lounge bar, a two-section restaurant and a beer garden. It features five en-suite rooms for customers to stay in and a large owners flat. The pub has been listed by Sidney Phillips.
The Hart Guesthouse | bed and breakfast | Leonard Stanley, Stonehouse GL10 3NR, UK
Stroud News & Journal (online), 5th April 2023:
A former pub and bed & breakfast has opened as a café and a guesthouse. The White Hart in Leonard Stanley is now a 7-bedrom en-suite guest house plus a café, which is open from 9am to 4.30pm every day The former village pub, which is now being called The Hart, had shut in November. Breakfasts and light lunches are on offer and events such as cheese and wine nights, charity events, live music and barbeques are earmarked for the future. The aim is to provide as many locally sourced products as possible, including Godsell’s cheese, Frocester Fayre, Woodchester Valley Vineyard and Gloucester Brewery.
“We really felt the village needed something,” said Kelly Pitt and Sinead Rennolds, who will run and manage the new venture. “I love the village and really wanted to see this beautiful building remain somewhere in the village to socialise.” said Ms Rennolds. “We have a lot of people stay with us doing the Cotswold Way walk and I wanted to give them a chance to taste all the best things made right here in the Cotswolds. I am very excited that I have been given the opportunity and I hope we can successfully save the ‘Hart’ of the village from closing.
Stroud News & Journal (online), 1st September 2023:
Plans have been submitted to transform a pub near Stroud into a holiday home. The proposal, which was submitted to Stroud District Council on Friday, July 21 2023 is for a change of use of the existing site currently occupied by The White Hart (Leonard Stanley) to a single dwelling to be used as a holiday home for family groups. According to the access and design statement ‘there is no longer any likelihood of a bed and breakfast, public house or other appropriate community use continuing on the site.’ It also said that the new use would require some minor internal alterations, such as the formation of a kitchen and dining room. Over the last two years there have been several attempts to run the pub but these have been short-lived.
Map Reference: SO 803033
Rateable Value in 1891: £17.0s.0d
Owner in 1891: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Rateable Value in 1903: £19.0s.0d.
Owner in 1903: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Owner in 1928: Stroud Brewery
Owner in 2007: Punch Taverns
Landlords at the White Hart include:
1830,1840 Mark Anthony Fricker
1856 R. Moss
1881 John Ford
1885,1891 Thomas Long
1902,1906 Mrs Elizabeth Whitmore
1919 Albert Edward Stafford
1927,1939 Walter T. Stafford
1999 Sue Helyer
2008 Tony and Sinead Spencer
2009,2010 John McIntyre
2016 Sara Turner (manager)