When Joule’s Brewery was originally brewing in Stone in the 1900’s, Eccleshall boasted 8 pubs, 5 of which were Joule’s houses, including the very fine Crown next door to the Royal Oak, now a Doctors surgery. The Royal Oak is a quintessential coaching inn of this period which provided substantial stabling and accommodation for travellers.
Its story dates back even further than the coaching inn era, the origins of the building can be seen in the attics; the central chimney may even pre-date the ancient timbers. The attics, long abandoned reveal a set of small eerie servants rooms with no natural light. With lath and lime plaster and small oak framed door openings, these rooms evidence an ancient building and suggest the Royal Oak was a substantial inn well before the old toll roads.
The Inn’s name also suggests royalist loyalty at the time of the English civil war which explains the rumour of a tunnel leading from the cellars to Gaol Butts nearby. The cellars are certainly ancient; old stone and arched and do reveal an intriguing closed passage.
The coaching era heralded a major change of the Oak, in the early 1800’s the arches would have been added and the attics abandoned in favour of extensions to the pub including the coaching stables and the fine assembly rooms.
In Victorian times, the inn was radically changed again, staircases and internal toilets added and rooms amalgamated and the introduction of a bar servery. Before this it is likely the inn would not have had a servery – just ale in jugs poured straight from the cask in the cellar.
We have a great outdoor space within our courtyard style garden and covered Coach House area, with seating for over 50 people available in the outdoor space. Our restaurant area can accommodate up to 50 people dining at any one time.
With log fires, a farmer’s snug, great beer, delicious food and a friendly atmosphere why wouldn't you give us a try?
We hope you will come along and experience what we have to offer.