Yew Tree Inn, Cauldon, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 3EJ

Yew Tree Inn, Cauldon, Water Houses, Stoke on Trent Staffordshire, ST10 3EJ 

I have loved this place for ages, but a recent visit confirmed some of the criticisms made of the place in general over the past year. The landlord, Alan East, has always been a good, but highly individual landlord who does seem lately to have become less tolerant of new faces, especially those with children and generally seems a lot less happy soul. The toilets were always basic, but now seem to have become a real problem and I am not sure Alan either cares or wants to notice.  The condition of the beer has also I hear been erratic of late too.

The above are all symptoms of a general decline in the level of homeliness and welcome that you could always rely on here. Hopefully this is only a temporary blip and maybe Alan can pull himself and the pub back to what it was; an extraordinary place …but don’t worry about the shabbiness of the fittings, though, that really is still part of the charm.

On balance therefore it’s difficult on how to recommend this pub, despite the undeniable characterof the place. However because it is so unique and that you will probably never experience a pub like this in your lifetime again, it is worth visiting just for that.  It is simply like going through a time warp into the past, the decor being incredible and what a fabulous collection of items to observe. The bar prices likewise are also in a time warp. 

Situated somewhat incongruously between a massive, ugly cement works and some quarry factories, the inside of The Yew Tree really does look like a cross between the Antiques Road show and Steptoe’s junkyard.

It’s an old stone built building situated off the A523 and, with no hanging pub sign and seemingly no real effort to attract custom, no sandwich boards etc and nothing to encourage you in, so it’s easy to miss, although the large yew tree outside in front of the pub helps.

Particularly impressive are the working polyphons, some fine Jacobean furniture and a collection of old radios. There is also an old penny farthing bicycle hidden behind a wooden settle.  The cash register, reminiscent of the one in Open All Hours, is yet another throwback to earlier days. On the bar usually are a few homemade pork pies and a glass jar of pickled eggs.

The pub is listed in the 2010 CAMRA Good Beer Guide where the commentary says “there cannot be another pub like this”.  So on balance this is a pub I would encourage you to visit and experience at first hand and decide for yourself.  Oh and when you do, don’t forget to sign the visitors book – situated by the entrance, on an old school desk – when you finally go to leave.

For the record and in case anyone’s interested, beers normally on are Burton Bridge, Bass and a Mild – in October 2010 all of them were on then and at a very reasonable price of £ 2.00p per pint, and the Bass was on very good form.

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5 Responses to “Yew Tree Inn, Cauldon, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 3EJ”

  1. The Earl of Nuffield Says:

    Have just spent a very enjoyable evening at the Yew Tree, can not recommend it highly enough, one of the last bastions of old England. Excellent in every way, even purchased goods from the cabinet of antiques, a must place to visit for any one !

  2. James Turner Says:

    We happened to find this great little pub having taken a wrong turn on a day out with the family, it was lunchtime and although no hot food was available the sandwiches and pies were more than enough for our hungry tribe and at a great price. My introduction to Burton Bridge could not have been better and it’s now in my top 5 beers list. The pub itself was amazing and just as fascinating for the kids as it was the adults with music machines and all kinds of wonderful antique artifacts to look at. The only slight downside was the toilets which were a little run down. All in all I would thoroughly recommend this very special pub.

  3. Peter Timlett Says:

    Having just visited this pub it seems that changes are afoot. Alan East suffered a major stroke earlier this year and his wife is very ill. Her son Dan is taking over the running of the pub and does not plan to make any changes other than to address the problems (eg. toilets). His brother Gary took responsibility for the cellar and the beer is now in first class condition. Good luck to them all at this unique pub – long may it survive! Lunchtime opening is now only on Sat & Sun.

  4. mrs Shirley Alice Baker (nee Cooper) Says:

    I would like to comment on the Yew Tree Inn being one of the most amazing pubs in the district. If I remember right Alan East’s mother took over the pub from my father, Sydney Cooper, who ran the pub during the 2nd world war until 1950 when he emigrated to Southern Rhodesia with the family. They served Ind Copes Beer from Burton on Trent in those days. I remember every Saturday night we had mystery bus tours from the Potteries mainly and a Mrs Ferns played the piano for a good old sing song. The local Soccer Team and Darts Team were based at the pub. I often wondered what happened to all the very old artifacts which were thrown out in order to build in the toilets ( obviously not up to standards these days) We held many weddings etc there and probably a few of the locals still remain in Cauldon and surroundings. The Cement works were in full production up to 1950. My husband and I have driven past in the times we have been over on holiday and find many changes have taken place.

  5. Fizz Jones Says:

    I have just spent three wonderful weeks in the Peak District, & thanks to this unique pub, & it’s amazing staff, Dan, Alan, & the two ladies who were possibly Dan’s sister’s, we will be returning as soon as we can. We spent evening after evening here, it’s warm welcome, excellent choice of beers, & ales, a great selection of malt whiskey’s, fabulous locals, who made us feel like we belonged. It’s a great pub inside, & out, would highly recommend a visit, the Summer opening times are great too, 12-12 Saturdays, & 12-11 Sundays. I can’t wait for our return :)

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