The York House Inn was once tied to Mitchell & Butlers / Bass Charington and dates back to Victorian times. The pub was originally a two-bar establishment but was converted and extended into open plan format in 1978. The pub sign originally depicted Richard III who was the last king from the house of York. Richard III and his brother Edward IV were victorious at the battle of Tewkesbury in 1471. 

The Citizen: Monday, December 5th 1983 – Pub raiders flee as landlady walks in: Gloucester pub landlady Mareen Brain (sic) has spoken of her frightening ordeal when she returned from shopping to find burglars ransacking the bar. Three teenage youths shoved the 51-year-old woman aside as they rushed off with their haul of £200 cash from tills. Mrs Brain’s spectacles were broken and she was badly shocked by the incident which happened at tea-time on Saturday. She said: “It was horrible. The worst thing was the realisation that something was wrong when I looked in to see those three behind the bar.” Mrs Brain, whose family have run the York house in London Road for the past 17 years had been out shopping in the City. Her husband Brian had been watching their 23-year-old son playing rugby for Gloucester United at Kingsholm. She said: “I saw the front door ajar and knew it couldn’t be my husband or son. I peeped through the window and saw people behind the bar. There were three of them and they made a charge for the front door. One knocked me aside as I approached him, breaking my spectacles.” She saw the youths making off towards the City and discovered that the bar tills had been raided. It is thought that the raiders broke into the building through a small toilet window. “They must have left the front door open for a quick getaway. It all happened so quickly, but on Sunday shock began to hit me.” Mrs Brain was unable to work on Saturday night and was still recovering from her ordeal on Sunday afternoon. Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident which happened at 4.35 pm.

In recent years the pub has simply been called the ‘York’. The locals at the pub had their own version of why the pub is called the York House. They claim that the pub was originally known as the York and contractors from Bass brewery mistakenly erected and painted signs which read ‘The York – Free House’. Bass Brewery hastily rectified the mistake by covering over the word ‘Free’ – leaving the York House. This rather fanciful explanation holds very little merit as the pub was known as the York House as long ago as 1879.

Bass Brewery sold the pub in the 1990’s. Colin Clark and his partner Tiz took over the pub in July 2005. Their enthusiasm was tremendous and, in a few months, Colin and Tiz had transformed a rather ordinary pub into a thriving community local. Colin sold excellent beer at competitive prices and Tiz served up wonderful home made food. Then after about six months the Pub Company ‘rewarded’ their hardworking and diligent tenants by imposing a totally unrealistic rent demand. Regretably negotiations with the Pub Company broke down and Colin and Tiz had little option but to leave the York House. As a result a potential successful pub was left empty for five months or so.

In July 2006 the York House reopened.  The pub was one of the first in Gloucester to introduce a voluntary smoking ban – a year before enforced government legislation. Unfortunately the new tenants did not last long – no doubt another victim of the greed of the owning Pub Company.

July 2008

The York House is still closed and unoccupied. Perhaps the Pub Company is more interested in the potential market value of the pub as a financial investment rather than its survival as a licensed premises. I have used the York House as a case study of the unrealistic demands of Pub Co’s – the same story applies to countless of other pubs. What a sad indictment of the pub trade today!

Owner in 1996: Bass Breweries

Owner in 2005: Admiral Taverns


1856,1863 J. Clayfield

1869,1870 Robert Ellis

1879 R. Smurthwaite

1885 Arthur Cowley

1893 S.A. White

1906 John W. Miles

1939 Lewis E. Long

1983 Brian and Mareen Brain

1998 David and Jenny Barrow

2005 (July) Colin Clark

2006 Neil Perkins

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