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About The Berkeley Arms Tewkesbury

An open log fire typically greets you on colder days. Beer, cider and wine tick all the boxes. Historically The Berkeley Arms has won Cask Marque accreditation for 4 years and in Camra’s Good Beer Guides for 2 years, both reflecting high quality. 2020’s accreditations are currently being assessed.

The Berkeley Arms is a Grade II listed building. There have been many improvements to the premises over at least 800 years, the surviving oldest substantial part being an 11th century barn, now a medieval style dinning area.

Year: 1899 Year: 2022

The cellar walls still contain some very old stone, thought to be 11th Century or older. There is evidence to suggest an ancient stone spiral staircase existed. Another ‘Stairs to No Where’ (see photo below) dates back to the time of this ancient stonework and a now lost part of the building.

Many of the oak beams have been hand split (‘Riving’ – the viking method) and in parts Pit Sawn by hand (a method going back to Roman times).

Today the old stone cellars are ideal for keeping Beer and Ciders at the Correct temperature.

The very substantial main chimney supports many timbers of the newer front part of the premisses, suggesting alteration works around 1550. Before the 1850’s the Berkeley Arms was known as the ‘Queen’s Arms’, however the former landlord ‘Sam Pearse’ was made bankrupt in 1843. He had borrowed £2,000 against the pub, much more than it’s value at the time. No mention of the ‘Queen’s Arms’ appears thereafter, but in 1849 a tenant called Hathaway occupies the premises. Licence records show he was registered as the Landlord of the ‘Berkeley Arms’ in 1869.

With the increase in cycle touring in the 1930’s, the Berkeley Arms became an ‘Offical Stop-over’ for the British Cyclists’ Touring Club in the days of ‘cloth caps’ and arty ‘silk mufflers’. In the 1960’s a string of here today gone tomorrow tenants led to a decline in trade, the Berkeley Arms almost closed. This quickly achieved what Temperance Movements had failed to do over many decades.
Around 1969 a new floor was put down in the bar, to do so workmen had to remove 7 layers of old floor going way back in time, no archaeological Time Team in those days. The Berkeley Arm’s fortunes were restored by Philip and Ruby Jones over their combined 23 year tenancy beginning in 1969. In the 1980’s an old sealed up back room was opened, the floor was covered in a deep layer of old 19th century books. These may relate to a clearing of cupboards and discovery in 1896 of various deeds, wills and other documents relating to the ‘Queen’s Arms’ and a former town inn called the ‘Quart Pot’ (pulled down in 1837).

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