Bath publican takes over Cirencester’s historic Tunnel House Inn

11 December 2017

International real estate advisor Savills, on behalf of a private vendor, has assigned the free-of-tie leasehold of Tunnel House Inn in Coates near Cirencester to Bath publican Sam Grimston.  The landlord is The Bathurst Estate.

The historic property, which is a favourite of students at the nearby Royal Agricultural University, dates back to the 1780s.  It was originally used as lodgings for ‘navvies’ working on the two mile long Sapperton Canal Tunnel, which was accessed by an ornate southern portal that still stands a few yards from the inn.  The pub was later reconstructed after a major fire in the 1950s left only the building’s bare walls standing.  The Tunnel House Inn now comprises a bar, restaurant, snug and extensive beer garden with countryside views. 

The opening of the pub has been unaffected by the assignment of the leasehold. 

Sam Grimston was part of the team at Yorkshire brewery Timothy Taylor’s for six years before purchasing Bath’s 300-year-old Griffin Inn in January 2015.  Grimston comments: “I have been on the lookout for pubs with character and history, and Tunnel House Inn certainly delivers this.  The pub is truly a local institution and I plan to ensure it remains a focal point of community life with all its warmth and abundant charms.  I feel privileged to be in the position of running Tunnel House Inn and hope to do its many fans justice in the coming years.”

Chris Bickle, licensed leisure director at Savills, adds: “This iconic pub has long been part of the area’s history and we are pleased to have secured its next chapter through this deal.” The deal follows the freehold sale of The Horse & Groom in Malmesbury to Butcombe Brewing Co by the same private vendor.


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