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Rode Village History



19 High Street (Red Lion)


extract from History of Some of the Old Buildings in Rode by Dawna Pine, second edition


19 High Street (The Red Lion Inn) is mentioned in a document of 1723 when Benjamin Edwards, a tallow chandler, insured his house, the Red Lyon, in the occupation of Robert Moore, for £100. In 1783 the landlord, Richard Silcock advertised the sale of all his stock, and by 1806 the inn was owned by John Higgins. In 1841, the Inn was owned by Jacob Cockrell and in tenure of Prudence Ashby. The Inn and the nearby malthouse were both thatched at that time. When the property was put up for sale on 25th October 1877, it was described as a stone and brick public house with an entrance passage bar, bar parlour, tap room, kitchen used as a bagatelle room, private parlour, scullery, 2 cellars, 5 bedrooms, 1 dressing room, a slaughterhouse and stable with loft over (formerly a chapel), pig styes, large yard and garden, and pump with excellent water. It was occupied by Thomas Noad. There was also a stone and brick built 6 quarter malt house of 2 floors with a kiln, cistern, malt room (formerly a club room) and coal store adjoining the Red Lion in the occupation of Thomas Holdway. The property belonged to W S Smith, deceased. Thomas Noad was landlord from 1856 until his death in 1903, and his will (and a codicil) declared him to be “butcher and licensed victualler” and refers to his bequest of the Red Lion and adjoining property, which indicates that he was also the owner by then. Edward Thomas Noad succeeded Thomas about 1903. His will dated 22nd June 1904 includes the words “I give …… the Red Lion Inn, the brew house buildings, orchard and paddock adjoining”. Between 1904 and the mid-1920s the keepers were Mrs. Florence Julia Noad, sister of Edward, Walter Randolph Noad, brother of Edward and Mrs. Gertrude Noad, widow of Walter. The first mention of an ‘outsider’ thereafter is one Peter Robinson. After him came a Mr. Price, John Martin, and Robinson again, and, after World War II, G. E. S. Fricker and John Wood. In 1985 Mr. Wood’s wife was greatly disturbed by the striking of the newly restored Jubilee Clock opposite. A petition, to have the clock silenced at night, was unsuccessful so the couple left and the Red Lion closed for the last time in 1992.



extract from A History of Brewing in Rode by Sidney Fussell and Brian Foyston, 2006


34.       This closed for the last time in 1992; for some time before that it had belonged to Great Metropolitan Hotels, who sold it in 1992 to Scottish and Newcastle Breweries, who straightway made it over to the Magic Pub Company. They did not find it viable and it soon went into private non-brewery ownership; more recently it has been developed for multiple residential purposes.


35.      Our earliest record comes from an advert placed in the Bath Chronicle dated 18th September 1783: “Road Somerset. To be sold at a fair appraisal at the Red Lion Inn immediately or between this time and St. Thomas day next by Richard Silcock landlord thereof.   All his stock of Beer Spirits and Hops, together with all the Vessels, some of which will hold 8 or 10 hogsheads, all iron bound and in good condition.  Also the brewing utensils cooper [sic] and malt tubs, likewise his household goods or part thereof at the option of a tenant who may enter the inn immediately or at St. Thomas day next. For terms apply to the said Richard Silcock”. Directories, Church Rate Books and other evidence tell us that in 1832 the occupier was William Cockrell (whose relation Jacob was then tenant of the Cross Keys)(see Para. 36 below) and from 1839 the occupier was one Edward Francis; on 6th November 1841 he withdrew his former entry of a Malthouse (see Para. 16 above) and an Insurance Policy dated 26th October 1841 (and covering from Michaelmas 1841 to Michaelmas 1842) shows the owner as Jacob Cockrell, previously tenant at the Cross Keys with Prudence Ashby having become the Tenant during the year, succeeding Francis.  The Policy covers the Inn and the structure of the Malthouse (this latter being only for the drying of grain and no brown malt was being made).  A separate Brewhouse was included.


36,       Prudence Ashby’s tenancy on this occasion appears to have been brief for on 26th April a Jonathan Fricker made Excise Entry as follows:


“I, Jonathan Fricker of Road…make Entry as a Brewer of a Brewhouse marked BH containing 1 Mash Tun marked MT. Two cellars for storing of Beer for sale.  Two rooms for storing of Foreign and British Spirits and tobacco for sale and Room for storing of Malt and Hops marked MH.  The Brewhouse is in my yard behind my Dwelling House, the Room for Malt and Hops is adjoining the Brewhouse and the Rooms for storing the Beer and Spirits are attached to my Dwelling House”


Other changes were in the offing as Jacob Cockrell made an Excise Entry on 13th September 1844 on the same lines as Fricker’s.  Hardly had the dust settled than Prudence Ashby/Ashley returned to the scene making her Entry as Tenant once again, until a John Bull around 1852/53.  Some time after 1842 Jacob Cockrell must have sold the premises, for the actual owner until his death in 1877 was Mr. W.S. Smith; the details of the Sale after his death refer to “FREEHOLD PROPERTY” viz. (firstly) “All that Old-established, Fully-licensed PUBLIC HOUSE, called the Red Lion Inn, with the Slaughterhouse, Stable, Pig Styes, Yard and Garden…occupied by Mr. T. Noad at £15 per annum” and (secondly)  “ the 6 quarter MALTHOUSE adjoining, occupied by Mr. T. Holdway at £9 per annum.” It notes “Both properties are well supplied with excellent water”. In the Insurance Policy of 1841 the property is described as thatched, with a communicating thatched Malthouse (albeit the kiln only used for drying grain), and with a nearby Brewhouse. The occupants were thereafter a succession of members of the Noad family – Thomas from 1856 to 1902, and his Will dated 3rd November 1902 (and a Codicil of 15th January 1903) declares him to be “butcher and licensed victualler of Road, Somerset” and refers to his bequest of “the premises called or known as the Red Lion, Road and the butcher’s shop, slaughterhouse, stable and garden situate at Road. Also the Malt house or Building in Fore Street, Road and orchard and paddock in rear of the same” (Fore Street is probably another name for Lower Street, as was Frog Street). Edward Thomas Noad succeeded Thomas about 1903.  His Will dated 22nd June 1904 “…of the Red Lion Inn, Road in the Parish of North Bradley” includes the words “I give…the Red Lion Inn, the Brew house Buildings, orchard and paddock adjoining”.  Between 1904 and the mid 1920s the keepers were Mrs. Florence Julia Noad, Walter Randolph Noad, and Mrs. Gertrude Noad.  Florence was the sister of Edward Thomas Noad, Walter was his brother, and Gertrude Annie was Walter’s widow!  The first mention of an ‘outsider’ thereafter is one Peter Robinson. After him came a Mr. Price, John Martin, and Robinson again, and, after World War II, G. E. S. Fricker and John Wood. John’s tenancy was subject to disturbance, so he complained, from the 24-hour striking of the newly restored Jubilee Clock.



Extracts from Harry Hopkins Collection


Rode Major Misc 2 1855-1865:


Rode Hill held their Fete on 21st. May 1932 at The Vicarage and raised about £30. Skittling had to be postponed and Mr Martin permitted players to use the Red Lion alley to play off the men's game on three evenings of the coming week.


Road 1859


On 15th. February 1859 an inquest was held on a Rode boy aged 9 years. The report said:-


An Inquest was held at the Red Lion Inn before G. Silvester Esq on the body of Edward Martin aged 9 years. It appeared that on Saturday night the deceased was on a boiler in the back part of his father's house when from some cause unexplained he fell forward on his head inflicting such severe injuries that he died shortly afterwards. The Jury returned a verdict of 'Accidental Death'.


The family lived at Sydney Alley.


Rode Mixed Bag to 1999:








On 8th. August 1723 Benjamin Edwards, a Tallow Chandler, insured his house, the Red Lyon Inn, in the occupation of Robert Moore, for £100; for his brew house £10; for his stable £20; for his cellar £40 and for a newly built house in Road (uninhabited) £100. He also insured the Baptist Meeting House in Road (which was part of the Red Lion complex and later turned over to a stable with a loft over) for £30. (As late as 1877 reference was made to this chapel when an attempt was made to sell the premises). Edwards’s total insurance cover was £300.


Rode in 1885:


On 18 December the shop of John Freeman, tailor and outfitter of Rode, caught fire. Fortunately nearby were several local men who organised a steady supply of water and it was only through their actions that the fire was brought under control. As it was considerable damage was done by the fire and water but luckily the premises and stock were insured in the Sun Life Office. It was thought that Mr Freeman junior was using a lamp in search of articles under the counter when some paper caught fire. Flames soon spread to the drapery section of the shop where several parcels of goods still to be unwrapped were severely damaged.


It was only the prompt action of local men that saved premises and stock from being totally destroyed and T. Noad of the Red Lion Inn and George Wells were instrumental in putting the fire out. They actually entered the shop and applied water to the fire which at stages was quite intense. Those two men were at the end of a chain of men passing water along to the point of the fire.

Freeman’s shop was where number 23 High Street now is.


Rode in 1888:


On 2 October (the date and month for the annual rent audit) the annual villagers’ Allotment Dinner took place at the Red Lion Inn, Road (Mr. Noad provided the catering) where four prizes were made. These prizes arose as follows.


Rode in the 1940s:


Vaughan Martin (1940)

On 7th February 1940 Vaughan Martin, one of the twin sons of Mr J. Martin of the Red Lion Inn, Rode, died at the Stroud Hospital. Vaughan was aged 18 years and had been employed as a waiter at the Bear Hotel in Stroud. He had become ill with pneumonia and died shortly afterwards. The Martin family came to Rode from East Stour near Gillingham about 11 years ago.




The Red Lion Inn (left) c1900




Noad's sign at the Red Lion Inn 1999

Writing over door of the Red Lion referring to the Noad family, possibly Thomas, discovered during renovation in 1999

Remnants of Noad's painted sign above the door of the Red Lion Inn before ‘renovation’.  The word 'victualler &' can just be made out.




Red Lion c1925




landlord E Marchant c1925




landlord E Marchant c1925




Red Lion c1935




Red Lion group 1954