From ‘The Industrial History of Dean’ by Cyril Hart (David & Charles, 1971): The Kings’ Howbrook (Lydbrook) Forge was built in 1612-13 by assignees of the Earl of Pembroke, below the King’s Howbrook Furnace. In 1628 it was described as lying above the nearest forge in Lydbrook (ie the Upper Forge some few hundred yards downstream). Unlike the furnace, which was powered only by the How Brook, the forge had the combined waters of that brook and of the Lyd Brook. It probably stood about opposite the Yew Tree Inn.
The Citizen: Friday, 23rd September 1983 – Dangerous Corner: People living in Lydbrook are trying to get improvements carried out to a dangerous corner near Yew Tree. Two residents have written to the parish council complaining about delays in implementing an improvement scheme. Now the council has written to the County Surveyor asking for a definite date when work would be carried out. In the interim, they have asked him to carry out minor work to affect some sort of improvement.
The Yew Tree was at the upper end of Lydbrook, not far from the Mireystock road cross-roads (where the road to Lydbrook leads off the A4136). The pub was on the east side of the road. .
The Yew Tree was a free house owned by Tom Leonard Smart in 1903. He was also the occupying landlord. Twelve years earlier in 1891 a Mr Smart was also the owner (no Christian names given), and it seems that the Smart family were owners of the Yew Tree Inn for at nearly 50 years, as Miss A.L. Smart (daughter?) was landlady in 1939. The annual rateable value of the beerhouse was £12.0s.0d. in 1891 and 1903, with a closing time of 10 pm.
The landlord of the Yew Tree in the late 1950’s, Richard Dunkley, was still a resident of Lydbrook in 2002 and was known locally as “Mr Dick.”
Ken and Lill Hawkins moved to the Yew Tree in 1965. They were offered a tenancy of the newly refurbished Swan Inn in Brierley in May 1969 and upon their leaving the Yew Tree called last orders for the final time.
Landlords of the Yew Tree include:
1891 George Knight
1903 Tom Leonard Smart
1939 Miss A.L. Smart
late 1950’s Richard Dunkley
1963 Alfred & Joyce Robinson
1965-1969 Ken and Lill Hawkins (moved to the Swan, Brierley)