Although not strictly related to the Yew Tree Inn, the locals drinking in the pub must have had first hand knowledge of this strange story that made news in the Gloucester Journal on January 28th, 1882:
‘An extraordinary freak of nature has occurred at Walls Quarry, near Stroud. A pig belonging to a man named Lyddiatt give birth last week to a litter of young ones, and amongst them was a creature more resembling an elephant than anything. It was devoid of hair on the skin as is an elephant, and has a trunk, large teeth, enormous ears (which lie back against its side), large head with massive forehead, and a long tail. The only thing about it resembling a pig is its hoofs, which are cloven, and something resembling a snout, immediately beneath the trunk. The animal was born alive and appeared vigorous, but the owner of the litter, not caring for the appearance of the strange creature, threw it out of the stye, and it died of cold. It is intended to preserve it in spirits.’
The Yew Tree was located on the road to Burleigh and Minchinhampton overlooking the Thrupp valley. It pulled its last pints in 1979. The 4th edition of CAMRA ‘Real Ale in Gloucestershire’ published in July 1978 described the Yew Tree as a ‘basic pub’. It served the ubiquitous Whitbread PA on handpump. After closure it became a restaurant but it is now a private house.
The Tippler: No.15. March 1979 – Pub News: The Yew Tree at Burleigh has now closed.
A regular at the pub Fred Willis, wrote a poem about the Yew Tree Inn which was published in the trade paper, the ‘Morning Advertiser’ on September 3rd 1927. The unliterary composition was probably composed after the consumption of several pints of strong Stroud Ales.
I thank my maker every day for all the things I see,
Of beauty in my native land whatever it might me,
And here is a beauty of a kind, I’ve never seen before,
Where hills and valleys lie around for fifty miles more.
Some nights ago I took my seat within the old Yew Tree,
And from the windows left and right, the view was more to me,
Than all the gold that glitters in the world of wealth and sin,
For here was nature all divine around the Yew Tree Inn.
Deep down within the verdant vales the cloth mills could be seen,
But not a bit unpicturesque in such a wealth of green,
While here and there amid the trees a house came peeping through,
And that was all there was of life within a mile or two.
The mill hands use the Yew Tree where it is a joy to go,
To have a rest upon the hill when climbing from below,
They gather in the cosy rooms and have a friendly game,
Of darts or quoits, whichever suits their fancy or their fame,
For one or two are reckoned great at this, if nothing more,
As deft as darts and quick as quoits as any gone before.
A genial host and hostess keep the friendly spirit going,
No matter how the world may wag, or what is paid or owing,
How sweet it is to find a spot where perfect peace is dwelling,
I’ll never forget the Yew Tree Inn.. or George and Laura Snelling.
The Citizen, 8th October 1987 – Woman (74) died after pub game: A retired Stroud landlady who collapsed during a game of crib died soon after she reached Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Mrs Nancy Vines (74), of Horns Road was playing for the Golden Fleece at the Royal British Legion Club in Cainscross.For 30 years she ran the Old Yew Tree Inn at Wallsquarry, Brimscombe, with her husband Jack until the pub was closed in 1978.
Map Reference: SO 867022
Rateable Value 1891: £8.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Full
Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery
Rateable Value 1903: £8.0s.0d
Type of licence in 1903: Full
Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery
Closing time in 1903: 10 pm
Landlords at the Yew Tree Inn include:
1856 P. Griffin
1885 William Henry Denman
1891 Richard Jones Roberts
1903 James Workman
1906 James Workman
1919,1939 George Albert Snelling
1948-1978 Jack and Nancy Vines