According to a report in the Wiltshire Times, the Bear shut ‘without warning’ in early March 2011. The pub is a long-time feature of Bath Road and is believed to date from the second half of the 18th century. A former coaching inn, it was also a posting house until the late 19th century. In the Post Office Directory of 1855, the premises are listed as the ‘Bear Inn’, although, in later directories, it is referred to as the ‘Bear Hotel’.
A photograph and text about the history of The Bear.
The text reads: The Bear, a former coaching inn, is believed to date from the second half of the 18th century. Until the 19th century the site also acted as a posting house with the name over time changing from the ‘Bear Inn’ to later ‘The Bear Hotel’.
A well -known coaching stop on the road from Bath to Melksham, the premises had its own stables and brewing house. Later, after a natural progression from an earlier horse drawn use, the site became the first place in the town for car hire and petrol sales. Vehicles were often hired from the site to attend weddings, funerals and other functions.
The Bear was the scene of election riots in 1865. A gentleman throwing heated coins from a first floor window provoked the members of the crowd, who burnt their hands when picking up the coins. The military dispersed the crowd and the inciter made his escape on horseback, later falling off on the Shaw Road.
Old tyre production equipment is displayed on the walls.
An old Avon tyres poster.
A photograph of the pub, winning Best Decorated Site in Melksham in Bloom, 2012.
Old signage for Diploma Condensed Milk, made in Melksham.
External photograph of the building – main entrance.
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