The Yew Tree is tucked away to the north of the square, west of the chapel and is recorded as trading in 1817. It had an annual rateable value of £18.0s.0d. in 1891 and 1903 and traded free of brewery tie. It had ale house status and closed at 11 pm. The Thomas family were the owners at that time, documented as Mrs H. Thomas in 1891 and Henry Edward Thomas in 1903.
Gloucester Journal, April 4th 1874 : James Orchard of Blakeney was charged with drunkenness at the Yew Tree Inn. He was turned out, and eventually found gripping a telegraph pole where he stayed to ‘steady the timbers’. Fined 10s.
When Maria Howell left the Yew Tree in October 1903 a public auction was held to dispose of stock which included ‘cider casks, an iron-framed piano, a barren cow, twenty-four lambs and seventeen fowl’.
The Citizen: Monday, November 29th 1982: Gang Sought After Blaze – Police are seeking three youths after petrol was spread on bales of straw and set alight at a garage near Lydney. The fire broke out on Saturday at the rear of the Yew Tree Inn, Blakeney, where Mr Alan Canning is the licensee. Chief Inspector Peter Sharp said three youths aged about 16 were spotted near the scene and police wished to interview them. One of them is said to be about five feet eight inches tall, fat, with a skinhead or crew-cut hairstyle. Between £150 and £200 worth of damage was caused in the blaze I which two fishing rods were destroyed. Two garden chairs were also damaged and there was slight damage to the rest of the garage contents and structure.
The Citizen. Monday, April 9th, 1984: Skittles marathon – Regulars at the Yew Tree Inn, Blakeney, are taking part in a sponsored skittles marathon to raise money for multiple sclerosis research. The 24-hour event on Saturday, is being organised by the landlord, Mr Alan Canning and Mr Steve Hussey. Most of those taking part will be from the pub’s skittles team, but other people are welcome to join in.
The Citizen: Wednesday, November 11th 1987 – Danny’s Pint Sized Feat: ‘Danny Boy’ Lee walked from Blakeney’s Yew Tree Inn to the Royal British Legion balancing a pint on his head. The feat raised £30 in aid of the children of the late Mrs Teresa Morgan, of Yorkley, who was killed in a road accident recently.
The Citizen: Monday, August 22nd 1988 – Inn’s charity dabble: Next Saturday will see an addition to the varied life on show at Blakeney Brook in the Forest of Dean – 125 plastic ducks. The yellow creatures, who are more used to steamy bathrooms than streamy forests, will swim down a 500 yard stretch of the brook at the end of the Yew Tree Inn’s garden. The event has been organised by the licensees of the pub, June and Des Sheehan, who hope to raise £500 for charity. The money will be put towards a machine to help asthma sufferers in Blakeney as well as a number of cassette recorders for the local primary schools. There will be 25 duck races during the afternoon, and the action runs from 2.30 to 5pm. The winner of the first prize will win 120 cans of lager. “We have chosen to support local causes to help the people of Blakeney. We are looking forward to an action packed day of fun,” said Mr. Sheehan.
The foot-and-mouth outbreak of April 2001 coincided with the arrival of an Irish couple at the Yew Tree. On their first day they had to contend with the stench of animal carcasses being burnt on a gigantic pyre in the village and consequently no prospect of any tourists. The Yew Tree had ceased trading by 2003 and the building was left unoccupied.
In March 2007 an application was submitted to Forest of Dean District Council for ‘alterations and extensions and refurbishment of existing buildings to form a residential care establishment.’ A further application to the Council in August 2009 submitted plans to ‘Discharge of conditions (02), (03) and (06) on Listed Building Consent (Colour of lime render, porch details and colour finishes to doors, windows and frames.)
The Yew Tree is now in residential use, but a West Country Ales ‘Best in the West’ ceramic plaque has been retained in the development.
Landlords at the Yew Tree Inn include:
1856,1863 J. Parsons
1876 Charles Griffiths (also listed as a mason)
1885,1891 Henry Charles Harrison
1903 Maria Howell
1906 Henry Edward Thomas
1919,1927 Mrs Elizabeth Maud Thomas
1939 William Smith
1968 John Handscombe (Mr & Mrs Handscombe celebrated their Golden Wedding in June 1968)
1973 Mr and Mrs B. Turley
1976-1978 Keith Howells
1978 (May) Mr and Mrs W. Downs
1981 Bill Endley
1882,1984 Alan Canning
1988 June & Des Sheehan
2001 John and Annie Hand