First look: 17th century Gloucestershire pub saved by the community

More than 260 locals pulled together to save The Black Horse Inn in Cranham, raising over £250,000 to buy this historic and much-loved pub as a community. SoGlos takes a look inside before it reopens in May 2024.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
Now community owned, after locals pooled together to buy and renovate it, The Black Horse Inn in Cranham reopens on Saturday 4 May 2024.

Part of Cranham life for hundreds of years, having first opened at the beginning of the 17th century, The Black Horse Inn has been saved by the Gloucestershire community, who collectively raised a whopping £260,900 to keep it open. 

With the pub's previous owners retiring last summer, there was talk of it being sold and converted into residential housing — but around 260 Gloucestershire locals rallied together and managed to raise enough money to buy the pub as a community in September 2023, creating Friends of the Black Horse Ltd.

With £250,000 matched funding from the government's Community Ownership Fund, the Friends of the Black Horse Ltd — along with elected pub tenants Paul, Joey and Karina — have spent the past eight months renovating the venue, getting it ready to reopen in on Saturday 4 May 2024.

Expect traditional features and a warm atmosphere, paying homage to The Black Horse's rich history, as it starts a brand-new chapter as an independently run, community owned pub.

Found in the village of Cranham, surrounded by woodland and just a stone's throw from popular walking route, the Cotswold Way, the pub offers a pitstop for ramblers and passers-by, serving local food and drink — with the option for guests to stay the night, too.

Tuck into a menu featuring light bites like 'nduja scotch eggs, as well as wholesome mains including the hot honey pork belly and Cotswold brie toasted sandwich, served with triple cooked chips. 

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free diners are also well catered for. 

The pub's current tenant, Paul, said: 'Our plan is to create a destination for great food and drink, with an incredible atmosphere.

'We have had Jack Gordon come in as head chef to create unique and hearty food offering using local ingredients and a wealth of cooking knowledge.'

The Black Horse believes food sales will enable it to survive, creating a small, destination pub for walkers and cyclists to enjoy good quality food, as well as a community hub for local villagers to socialise and get together.

The Black Horse Inn is opening on Saturday 4 May 2024 — just in time for the bank holiday.

The pub is open 11pm to 10pm Tuesday to Thursday, 11am to 11pm from Friday to Saturday and 11am to 7pm on Sundays. 

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