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The Fleece Inn, Hillesley

A warm & friendly Cotswolds village pub - Bookings: 01453 520003 Open 7 days a week

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A great village pub in the Cotswolds - owned by its community.

 

The Fleece was put up for sale late in 2011, and closed in April 2012.  In June 2012 it was purchased as a freehold, free house by a group of over one hundred local residents.  The purchase was achieved through the creation of the Hillesley Community Pub Limited (HCPL).

The primary aim of HCPL is to secure the future of The Fleece pub in Hillesley as a community facility that welcomes visitors and is owned by a substantial number of Hillesley and surrounding area residents.  A secondary aim is to preserve the value of the capital invested by the community owners and to provide some form of reasonable return.  The company sees itself as part of the Hillesley community and is set up for the benefit of the community as well as its shareholders.  The company will be run in a way which listens to the wishes and concerns of local people whether or not they are shareholders.  Major decisions will be widely consulted on throughout the village.

An experienced Pub Management Company has been appointed to ensure professional management of the pub.  They facilitated the Appointment of a Manager and a Chef.  We have consulted the community to establish the kind of pub that the shareholders want.  Some of the findings indicate the kind of pub The Fleece will be: 

 

 

It should be decorated and run with the feel of a “traditional English village pub”.

The publicans need to be friendly and village-oriented;

 

There needs to be both a “restaurant/lounge” culture and a “bar culture”.

 

The pub should serve well-kept real ale, including local beers, along with a selection of good wines, spirits, etc.

 

The food offering should include “affordable meals”, although more “up market” food offerings may also be offered.

 

All food should major on fresh, local produce and should be unpretentious.

 

 

There should be a coffee shop offering, with good fresh coffee, during the day, targeted as a meeting place for people in the village in the mornings.

Light lunches/sandwiches should be available at lunch times.

The premises must be clean.

The fire should be lit on cool and miserable days.

The lounges should be comfortable, relaxed and civilised.

The pub should be open every day.

Full use should be made of the garden.

 

First Anniversary

 

Over the weekend of 26th July to 28th July 2013 The Fleece is celebrating it's successful first year in community ownership.

Pub History

The age of the building is unclear – it is listed variously as 17th or 18th century origin – and it is Grade II listed.  The Gloucestershire pub history reference www.easywell.co.uk lists the following facts:

Owner in 1891:  Thomas Witchell, Tetbury

Rateable Value in 1891:   £10.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891:  Alehouse

Owner in 1903:  Thomas Witchell, Tetbury

Rateable Value in 1903:  £10.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903:   Alehouse

Closing time in 1903:  10pm

Easywell also relates: “The Fleece Inn was once tied to Witchell's Tetbury Brewery.  Thomas Witchell did not own many pubs and the Fleece Inn was a rare outlet.  Witchell's were subsequently acquired by another Tetbury Brewery, Warns.  An old photograph shows the gabled end of the pub with the painted lettering: ‘The Fleece Inn. Warn & Sons.  Celebrated Ales, Wines & Spirits’ ”

Elsewhere it is recorded “When the landlady Miss Mary Jotcham retired from the Fleece Inn in 1953 it brought to an end over a hundred years association with the Jotcham family. The Stroud Brewery Courier reported in December 1947 of ‘a grand old lady, who kept one of the Company’s houses for 53 years was the late Mrs Jotcham of the Fleece at Hillesley. Mrs Jotcham died in 1940, but the house is still in the family, Mrs Jotcham’s daughter being the present licensee.”

A list of previous Fleece landlords:

1856  L. Roach

1885  William Gunning

1891  Frederick Jotcham

1902,1903,1906,1939  Mary Ann Jotcham (Mrs Mary Ann Jotcham in 1939)

 

198?  Dave and Celia Rollo 

1997  Celia Rollo

1998  Richard and Clare Poole

2003  Kim and Cliff Williams

 

2004  Neil and Deborah Hardy 

2007  Andrew Starling  

2010  Simon and Helen Stevens

2011  Mark and Rhian Kirby

2012  Jade Canning

The building features a rare West Country Ales ceramic plaque recessed into the front wall - see the picture on the right.  For more information on these plaques take a look at:

http://www.easywell.co.uk/pubs/july2006plaques.htm

Customer testimonials

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