In Victorian times the Coal House was the unloading point for cargoes of coal bound for Cheltenham. Bargees would transport the coal downriver from the Midlands and unload at various wharves along the River Severn. From Apperley wharf wagons laden with coal were taken up the narrow lane into the village.
There has been a pub on the site since at least 1750 and it has had several identities. It is possible that it was once called the House in the Tree. The 1891 and 1903 books of Gloucestershire licensed premises refer to the White Lion Inn. However, the 1891 Census refers to the Coal House Inn. The address is given as Salt Lane, Deerhurst, Apperley. Henry Clifford, aged 65, is listed as a blacksmith and the head of the household. His wife Sarah Clifford is named as the Inn Keeper of the Coal House Inn. They had three daughters.
Gloucester Journal, January 1886: The annual pigeon shooting took place on Tuesday in a field adjacent to the White Lion Inn, Apperley. Several sweepstakes were brought off after which the sportsmen present sat down to a cold collation.
The River Severn is prone to flooding at Apperley and the Coal House has often been inundated with floodwater. Despite the heroic attempts at fighting back the rising water, it is usually nature that has the upper hand. In January 1988 there were five inches of water in the living quarters and two inches in the bar. A reporter from the ‘Citizen’ accessed the pub by boat and described the scene inside – ‘carpets have been ruined and the wallpaper was beginning to peel. Even the piano was propped up on crates.’ However, there was far worse to come. During the Great Gloucestershire Flood of July 2007 the pub was six feet deep in flood water.
This page will be updated with additional information.
Map Reference: SO 854283
Owner in 1891: John Dipper (free from brewery tie)
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: John Dipper (free from brewery tie)
Rateable value in 1903: £20.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the White Lion / Coal House include:
1881 Clifford (White Lion Inn)
1891,1903 Henry Clifford (Coal House Inn in 1891 census)
1906 Charles Ball
1919 Henry Ball
1927 Hubert Dudfield
1935-1939 Frederick William Davies
1977 Tom and Herta O’Neill
1987 Neil Casling
1988 Alan and Barbara Butt; David & Kay McDonald
1996,2007 David and Kay McDonald