top of page

All the owners and publicans of the Fountain Inn are discussed at length in our book. This section contains additional information about them which was generally considered to be too detailed for inclusion.

John Kear bought the cottage, that would go on to become the Fountain Inn, in 1785. Ownership of the property eventually passed to his grandson, James Kear, who is our first publican; having opened up his home as a beerhouse in 1834. The Kear's full family tree can be found here;

James and Edwin Kear’s timeline;


John Keare (James' grandfather) buys the property from Mary Worgan in 1785.

John Kear dies in 1786.

James Keer (James' father) owns the property in 1787.

James Kear marries Elizabeth Doward in 1802.

James Kear (first publican) is born in Parkend in 1804.

Harriet Gething is born in Rudgely, Staffs, in 1812 (1861 census).

James Kear and Harriet Gething marry on 31 Dec 1829.

Edwin William Kear is born in 1836.

James Kear opens the Fountain Inn in 1834.

James Kear leases the Fountain inn to James Inman in 1853 (who runs it until at least 1857).

James Kear dies on April 15, 1859.

Edwin William Kear owns the pub from 1859.

Edwin William Kear ‘and others’ sell it to Eliza Burgham in 1872.

Harriet Kear (Edwin's mother) dies on March 15, 1879.

Edwin William Kear marries Lilian H Loveridge (born in Tooting) in 1883.

Edwin William Kear and Lilian are working as servants at Russel Road, Kensington, in 1891.

Edwin William Kear dies in 1896.

James Kear’s family;


Grandparents; John Kear (1732 – 1786) and Martha Lane (1730 – 1786).

Parents; James Kear (1765 – 1805) and Elizabeth Doward (1779 - 1864).

James Kear (1804 – 1859) married Harriet Gething (1812 – 1879).


James and Harriet Kear had 14 children, only 6 of whom lived longer than 17 years. This is shocking by modern standards, and is actually higher than the national average at that time, although  the  infant  mortality  rate in  the first half of the  nineteenth century was still around 3 in 10.


Charlotte Mary Kear (1831-1899) (died aged 68 years) married Phillip Jones.

Matilda (1832-1832) (died aged 9 days).

James Kear (1832-1832) (died aged 6 days) Twin?

Agatha Fanny Kear (1832-1850) (died aged 17 years) Twin?

Julia Kear (1834-1835) (died aged 1 month).

Edwin William Kear (1836-1896) (died aged 60 years) married Lillian Loveridge in 1883.

Henry Alfred Kear (1837-1838) (died aged 1 year). 

Frederick Alfred (Alfred) Kear (1839-1866) (died aged 26 years).

Matilda Kear (1840-?) (mentioned in James will, so lived past 1859).

Frederick Henry (Henry) Kear (1842-1889) (died aged 47 years) lost leg as a child? Lived opposite the Fountain, in 1868 is listed as a chemist, 1870/1 as a barber.

Cora Jemimah (1844-1849) (died aged 5 years).

David Hiram Kear (1846-1846) (died aged 1 month).

Cora Fanny Kear (1849-1883) (died aged 35 years).

David Hiram Kear (1853-1854) (died aged 1 year).



Baptism records


Kear family tree

The Kear Family

James Inman leased the pub off James Kear from 1853 until at least 1857.


James Inman's timeline;


Born 1808 (parents were Charles Inman and Ann Roe).

Christened 10 June 1808 in Lydney.

Marries Sarah ? (from Bewdley, Kidderminster) in ?

Daughter Mary Ann is born in 1836.

Sarah dies (pre-1841).

James is living in Awre with his mother Ann, and his daughter Mary, in 1841.

James marries Eliza Cadogan(?) in 1842.

Son Sidney. C. is born c1847.

Son Martin. R. is born c1848.

James, Eliza, and their sons, are living in Blakeney in 1851. Mary seems to be in Birmingham.

James leases the Fountain Inn in 1853, having previously run the Swan Inn at Blakeney.

James, Eliza, their sons, and James' niece Ann, are living in Newland in 1861.

James dies in 1867.

James Inman

Eliza Burgham was the owner of Redbrook Brewery and bought the Fountain Inn in 1872. More information about the Burgham family can be found here;

Eliza Burgham's timeline;

Born Eliza Williams in Trevethin, Pontypool, in 1828.

Married Henry Burgham (1827-1869) in 1858.

Inherited Redbrook Brewery in 1869.

Bought the Fountain Inn in 1872.

In 1880 she appears to have showed compassion to a female tenant (here) as also seems to have happened at the Fountain Inn in 1883 (book, page 27).

Sold the Fountain Inn to Elizabeth Cooper in 1895.

Died at Dixton Road, Monmouth, in 1902.

Buried at Coleford Cemetery on 05 Aug 1902 (Adult grave, south R16). 

Eliza Burgham

John and Sarah Ellsmore seem to have been well-known publicans in the Forest, having run several pubs together. They were employed by Redbrook Brewery to run the Fountain Inn in, or before, 1872. John died in 1876, but Sarah went on to run several other pubs. Ellsmore is spelt with one ‘l’ until their wedding, and two afterwards.

John and Sarah Ellsmore's timeline;


John born in Bream in 1829 (parents were William Ellsmore and Mary Morgan).

Sarah Long is born in Bream in 1833 (parents were John and Elizabeth Long).

John and Sarah marry on August 20, 1855.

John working as a miner in 1855.

Both are running the Traveller’s Rest, Parkend, in 1869 and 1871, with their 7 children.

Both are running the Fountain Inn for Redbrook brewery from about 1872.

John dies on August 28, 1876, aged 46 and is buried at St James church, Bream.
Sarah is running the Swan Inn (the Two Swans?), Bream, in 1881.

Sarah leaves to run the Cross Keys, Bream, in 1881.

Sarah was living at Maypole Villa, Bream, in 1891.

Sarah running the Rising Sun Inn, Bream in 1901, with son and daughter.

Sarah dies on November 5, 1918, and is buried with husband John in Bream.

John and Sarah Elsmore's marriage certificate.

The Ellsmores

Richard and Elizabeth (Martha) Scott moved to the Fountain Inn as publicans in 1879. Richard was 17 years older than Elizabeth. Before coming to the pub, Richard had been a miner, but Elizabeth's family were experienced publicans. Her parents had run pubs in the Cotswolds, before moving to the Forest in the 1860s. Three of Elizabeth’s siblings were also publicans in the Forest and one was a beer retailer. Elizabeth’s mother went on to run the British Lion Inn, at Parkend, from about 1890 until her death in 1899.


Richard and Elizabeth Scott’s timeline;


Richard is born in Staffordshire in c1827 (parents were William and Maria).

He's presumably bought to the Forest as a baby, as he's baptised in Parkend on May 25, 1828.

Elizabeth (Martha) Fox is born in Stow-on-the-Wold in 1844 (parents are George and Mary).

Richard and Elizabeth marry at St Paul's Church, Parkend, on July 25, 1868.

Their only child, a daughter named Margaret Malina (Meg), is born in 1869.

Richard becomes publican at the Fountain Inn in 1879.

Richard dies at the Fountain Inn on March 27, 1883.

Richard is buried at Parkend on April 1, 1883.

Elizabeth takes over as publican in 1883.

Elizabeth marries William Cooper in 1885, becoming Elizabeth Cooper.

William Cooper dies 1892.

Elizabeth buys the Fountain Inn from Redbrook Brewery in 1895.

Elizabeth dies on February 26, 1902 and is buried with Richard Scott.

Photos: Richard and Elizabeth Scott's marriage certificate.

And their gravestone. Elizabeth had remarried after Richard's death, and was now Elizabeth Cooper, but she was buried with her first husband and her surname is not engraved.

The Scotts

Richard and Elizabeth Scott's daughter, Margaret, played a significant role in the history of the Fountain Inn. She moved here with her parents in 1879, when she was just 10 years old, and married George Gunter in 1887. George took over as publican soon after, but went on to develop a large and successful farming operation, alongside the pub. Margaret ran the Fountain Inn and was to remain here as landlady for over 45 years. Rob Wilkins had distant memories of her. He recalled that she was a slightly eccentric woman, She went to Lydney Picture  House  every  week, and  died  there  during  a  screening  of  'The  Last  Roundup'  (a western). Rob said he remembered her body being brought back to the Fountain Inn by ambulance. 

Margaret Gunter in around 1890.

George Gunter in 1910.

George and Margaret Gunter's marriage certificate.

George and Margaret’s timeline;


George Gunter is born in Parkend, in 1866 (parents are Henry and Elizabeth).

Margaret Malina Scott (Meg) is born in Bream, in 1869 (parents are Richard and Elizabeth).

Margaret moves to the Fountain Inn when her father takes over as publican in 1879.

George and Margaret marry on May 14, 1887.

Margaret and George are running the Fountain Inn by at least 1889.

Elizabeth Martha Cooper (Margaret’s mother) buys the Fountain Inn in 1895.

After 1895, George and Margaret now run the pub for Margaret's mother.

George and Margaret inherit the Fountain Inn when Elizabeth dies in 1902.

George Gunter dies at Yorkley on June 17, 1932.

Margaret dies at Lydney Picture House on April 12, 1934.


Children of George and Margaret Gunter;


Harry Scott (1889 - 1966). Married Lillian Mabel Liddington (1898-?) in 1920.

Frederick George (Fred) (1891 - 1958). Learning difficulties.

Elizabeth May (May) (1892 - 1926). Married Norman Roper Robinson in 1925, died giving birth.

Martin Richard (1894 - 1895). Died aged 9 months.

Grantley Richard (1896 - 1966). Married Catharine M Jones in 1924.

Hilda Alice (1899 - 1982). Unmarried.

Frank (1904 - 1973). Lived at Roslyn. Married Phyllis Maud Preest in 1937.

Ida Mary (1905 - 1991). Married Caleb J Miles in 1952.

One of George and Margaret Gunters' daughters, Elizabeth May, married Norman Roper Robinson in 1925. She moved with him to Keswick, but died there 14 months later, giving birth to their child. It's not known why, but she was buried in the grave of her grandparents, Richard and Elizabeth, at St Paul's church yard, in Parkend. Her inscription is very lightly carved onto  the back of their headstone.  There are conflicting reports about whether or not the child survived. 

Photo; Elizabeth May Robinson's inscription (artificially enhanced). The photo is significant because her inscription doesn't appear in the church's booklet of headstone inscriptions, and is now almost illegible.

Norman Roper Robinson’s timeline;

Born in Ulverston, in 1879 (Parents are James and Elizabeth).

Appears to have been a student at the Forestry School in Parkend, as he gave this address when he enlisted into the King's Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, in 1914.
Medically discharged, with TB, at the rank of Company Quartermaster Sergeant in 1917.
Marries Elizabeth May Gunter in Parkend, in 1925.

Elizabeth dies giving birth in Keswick, in 1926.

Barbara May Marfell is born in Chepstow, in 1905.

Barbara moves to Keswick in 1927.

Norman marries Barbara May Marfell in Drybrook, in 1928.

Barbara becomes mayor of Keswick in ?

The 1939 index shows Norman and Barbara with her parents at Euroclydon in Drybrook.

Norman dies in Cockermouth in 1960.

Barbara dies in Cheltenham, in 1979.

Three of George and Margaret's sons, Harry, Grantley and Frank, ran a farming side to the family business with their father, which included the slaughterhouse and butcher's shop at the Fountain Inn. All three went on to run different farms; Harry's was Breams Cross, Grantley's was Cowmeadow Farm near English Bicknor (which his grandson still runs) and Frank's was Badham's Field in Yorkley (which his father and grandfather had also run before him). We're not certain about the timeline, but we think they all bought, or inherited, their farms when their father died in 1932. 

Photo: Milk bottle from Harry Gunter's farm at Breams Cross.
© Kelly Kirk Imm.

George and Margaret's two surviving daughters, Hilda and Ida, inherited the Fountain Inn after their mother's death in 1934. Hilda officially took over her mother's role as landlady, but she and Ida ran the place together, whilst also caring for their brother Fred. Fred had been born with severe learning difficulties and was recorded on the 1939 National Register as 'incapacitated'. Rob Wilkins recalled him being a popular presence in the pub, where he often carried out simple jobs, such as sweeping the floor. Hilda and Ida ran the Fountain for a further 18 years after their mother's death, eventually selling the property at auction to Stroud Brewery in 1952. There is a sign on Parkend Church gates saying; ‘Donated by the Gunter Family, Easter 1953’ and this may have been a departing gift.

Six months before the sale, Ida had married Caleb Miles and they moved to 6 Coalway Road, Coleford. After the sale, Hilda and Fred moved to a large house at Cinder Hill, in Coleford. When Fred died in 1958, Hilda moved to 21 Coalway Road, almost directly opposite Ida and Caleb. And when Caleb died in 1972, both sisters lived together at number 21. 

Caleb John Miles timeline;


Born September 8, 1887.

Living in Berry Hill in 1891.

Living in Berry Hill and working as a carpenter’s apprentice in 1901.

Living at Coverham House, Berry Hill, and working as a builder in 1911.

Marries Ida Mary Gunter in June 1952, (Caleb is 19 years older than Ida).

Caleb dies in 1972.

Sign on St Paul's church gates.

The Gunters

Ken Hopkins was employed as publican of the Fountain Inn by Stroud Brewery in 1952.

Ken died on 7 January, 2004. (ref here)

Ken Hopkins

Ron and Hildred (Hilda) Meek were employed as publicans by Stroud Brewery in 1958. Ron had come from a pub background and when they first moved here his parents were running the Royal Oak at Whitecroft. The  telephone number of the pub during their time here was Whitecroft 294.


Ron and Hilda Meek’s timeline;


Ron Meek is born on July 17, 1921 (parents were Arthur Bayliss ('Felt') and Florence Lillian).

Hildred Rose Morgan is born on September 23, 1923.

Ron and Hilda Rose marry on ????, 1946.

Ron Meek becomes landlord of  The Fountain Inn in 1958.

Stroud Brewery is taken over by Whitbread on 29 September 1962.

Ron's mother, Florence Lillian Meek, dies at the Fountain Inn on March 3, 1963 (aged 60).

Ron's father, Arthur Bayliss Meek, dies at the Fountain Inn on October 30, 1970 (aged 69).

Fountain Inn closed in May 1976 and Ron and Hilda move to the New Inn (now the Woodman).

Hilda dies at the New Inn on October 1, 1978.

Ron leaves the New Inn in ????

Ron dies in London on June 21, 2001.

Ron Meek

After leaving the pub, Frank and Margaret retired to a house on Whites Hill, in Whitecroft. Frank died in 2010, but Margaret still lives in the same house they retired to after leaving the pub. David, their son, lives in Spain.

The Wilkinsons

Alan's mother Ceri passed away in the spring of 2019 and never got to see our book published, although she had enjoyed reading an earlier draft for it. His father, Brian, never quite got over her death, but spent his final years pottering around in his workshop and the garden they had both loved. Sadly, he contracted Covid 19 while in hospital for a small operation and died on January 2, 2022.



The Powells
bottom of page