The Yew Tree is situated in an isolated location on the west bank of the River Severn at Chaceley Stock. The ancient Odda’s Chapel and the Saxon Church at Deerhurst is on the opposite banks of the river. There was once a river ferry crossing here and at various times in its history the pub has been known as the Old Ferry Inn. It is also thought to have traded as the Stock Inn. Parts of the pub date back to 1640.
In the 1891 and 1903 petty session licensing records the Yew Tree Inn is listed in the parish of Hasfield. It was a simple beerhouse with a licence to sell beer and cider on the premises only.
Gloucestershire Echo, 26th February 1990: Pub pair in raid terror: Armed raiders who burst into a remote country pub today tied up the licensees and ransacked rooms before fleeing in a stolen car. Terrified Paul Davies and Paul Fox from the Yew Tree Inn at Chaceley were threatened by a five-man masked gang wielding knives and clubs in the early hours of this morning. The gang made off in a yellow Citroen 2CV which was recovered later. This morning the licensees were still being interviewed by detectives at Tewkesbury police station.
Police believe the gang may have crossed the Severn in a boat to Lower Lode Lane at Tewkesbuy. A police tracker dog followed a scent from the car to the pub.
The raiders took household and a small amount of money after a search lasting more than an hour. The raid is yet another blow to the licensees who have been out of business for eight weeks because of floods.
A BBC film crew filmed live from the Yew Tree in January 1994 for the ‘Good Morning’ show after the pub was cut off by the floods that killed the trade over the festive period. Presenter Will Hanrahan was ferried to the pub in Ivor Newby’s ‘Amphicar’, which sailed across the water with the aid of its two propellers. The car was produced in the 1960’s in Germany and only 2000 rolled off the production lines. Ivor bought the car when it was just 12 months old.
The Citizen, Saturday May 8th 1999 – Pub Watch. The Yew Tree Inn. (By George Henderson)
Thirsty travellers have been stopping off to slake their thirst at the Yew Tree on the banks of the Severn at Chaceley Stocks for more than 300 years. However, in its early years it was better known as the Old Ferry Inn, taking its name from the ferry that took travellers across the river to the ancient Odda’s Chapel and Saxon Church at Deerhurst. The current landlord, Graham Hyde, whose family have been running pubs in Gloucestershire for around 300 years, is adamant that this is the correct name for the pub.
“The name changed to the Yew Tree sometime around 1800,” said Graham. “But I think the Old Ferry is much more appropriate for a riverside pub than the Yew Tree, although there are a few yew trees here. so as soon as we get all the paperwork organised we will be changing it back to the old name.”
“It started out as a bargees pub and they had stables here for changing the horses that towed the barges. That’s where the name Chaceley Stocks comes from. Nowadays, it is still very much a pub for the river. We get as many as 30 boats tying up here at the weekends in summer. Obviously, as it is a very small village, most of our customers come some distance to get here. We have two bars, a skittle alley and a restaurant to seat about 80.”
“Being on the river, we get flooded quite often, although we now have our own flood defence system. But when the river’s up it cuts us off. I have a launch I use to get up to Tewkesbury. It’s a beautiful spot here and the first thing in the morning it is absolutely peaceful. I bought it first and foremost as a house. The pub just came as part of the deal.”
The Citizen. 15th August 2002 – ‘Eating Out with Bon Viveur’ – Navigating a way to the Old Ferry is worth the voyage.
The last time I visited the Old Ferry Inn at Chaceley Stock, the River Severn was going in through the back door and out through the front. During the serious flooding of January 1990, the only way locals could get to the inn was by boat – not by way of the river but over the tops of hedges in the adjoining fields. What a difference on a balmy night in August.
Since my last visit the pub has changed its name from the Yew Tree to the Old Ferry, the river was well within its banks and it was difficult to believe it suffers flooding most years. This remote spot is best approached through the lanes from Corse Lawn, if you’re travelling from the Gloucester or Forest of Dean direction. Follow the signs to Chaceley Stock because the pub is not well signposted. An Ordnance Survey map may help.
It is well worth the effort, because the inn is in a most delightful spot. The lawns run down to the pub moorings and there are lovely views along the river in each direction. We sat on a bench with pints of Flowers Best Bitter and just gazed at the idyllic scene. There was just enough wind to faintly stir the sails of a dingy from the nearby sailing club, and, with no main roads anywhere near, the silence was deafening, broken occasionally by the splash of a rising fish.
As twilight approached, we reluctantly repaired to the dining room where we were greeted by an extensive menu. The Old Ferry offers all the usual steaks and fish dishes of our more ambitious pubs, with five main courses aimed specifically at vegetarians. There are no less than 20 Thai and Indian offerings on the Eastern Menu.
We marked the Old Ferry up for not having canned music in the dining room, but down for not having ladies’ and gents’ loos up to our high standards.
Gloucestershire Echo, Tuesday November 6th 2007: “We got there – with some help from friends”: The Bartlett family are celebrating the reopening of their flood hit pub. Because the Yew Tree Inn, in Chaceley near Tewkesbury, is on the banks of the River Severn, the family can’t find an insurance company who will cover them. So when the floods hit in July, they were hit harder than most.
The pub was severely damaged in the deluge and the Bartletts had to find thousands of pounds from their own pockets to repair it. Now, after extensive refurbishment, it is open again. The pub, parts of which date back to 1640, has been serving drinks for two months but not food. Now the newly renovated kitchen is open too.
Mandy Bartlett, who has run it with her parents Carole and Peter since December 2006, said she wanted to say a big thank you to the many villagers and friends who had helped with the repair job. She said: “It’s been awful. We’ve had to replace everything. But people have willed us on and given us the strength to carry on.” She added that the community’s help had helped to keep the cost of the re-fit down.
Gloucestershire Echo, Monday 3rd February 2014 – Landlord forced to swim for life in flood drama: A pub landlord had to swim for his life after the boat he and his family were travelling in capsized in raging floodwater. Peter Bartlett, 58, landlord of the Yew Tree Inn pub at Chaceley, his wife Carole, 57, and brother-in-law, Kevin Leach, 55, along with his greyhound, Autumn, were all plunged into the icy waters when their craft was overwhelmed by the massive waves, whipped up by strong winds.
They had been returning to his pub along the flooded Stocks Lane, when the waves overwhelmed the boat, leaving Mrs Barlett and Mr Leach clinging to the branches of a submerged tree, as Mr Bartlett swam for help. Greyhound Autumn was swept away by the force of the water and was later found dead.
Mr Bartlett said: “The water was so strong it was coming in the boat, the waves were over a foot high. It sank us. I decided to swim. I went back to get another boat, but when I got back I was so weak I couldn’t lift anyone over the side. By the time I got back to them. they were only clinging to a couple of branches.”
Mrs Bartlett and Mr Leach were recovering well at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital yesterday after being rescued by the emergency services. The dramatic rescue took place in a flooded lane which fronts the River Severn in Chaceley, near Tewkesbury just after 3.15 pm on Saturday. Stocks Lane, which runs alongside the pub, has been flooded for weeks and Mr Bartlett had been ferrying Mr Leach to and from work on a daily basis.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue said: “A joint search operation was put into action utilising the rescue boat from the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service and the SARA boat from Tewkesbury. The two casualties were located in the flooded lane and rescued by the fire service boat from Tewkesbury. They were then handed over to South West Ambulance Service, who took them to Gloucestershire Royal Hospital to treat them from exposure to the cold temperatures of the flood waters. Boat crews also transported paramedics to assess the condition of the caller who swam from the boat. He was subsequently treated at the scene.”
Map Reference: SO 865298
Owner in 1891: Alfred Collins (free from brewery tie)
Type of licence in 1891: Beerhouse
Owner in 1903: W.M. Baker (free from brewery tie)
Rateable value in 1903: £15.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Beerhouse (‘on’ sales only)
Closing time in 1903: 10pm
Landlords at the Yew Tree include:
1891 Alfred Collins
1903 Frederick G. Treherne
1939 Harry G. Healey
1950’s Frank Stebbins
1960’s (?) Brian Burnett
1970’s Bill Bird
1995-2006 Graham Hyde
2006 (Dec), 2014 Peter and Carole Bartlett