The Rising Sun, Woodcroft
Serving the village of Woodcroft since 1858.
The Rising Sun is a classic English village pub with its stone construction and open fireplace. It is a large, double-fronted, building with a bar and snug downstairs and accommodation above. At the front, there is a large garden area which is ideal for taking the sun on warm days.
The Rising Sun has offered a range of cask beers and draught lagers, wines, spirits, cider and soft drinks with the kitchen offering a selection of snacks and prepared meals for lunch and evening customers, served in the bar, restaurant and garden. The pub has traditionally attracted custom from the parish, surrounding villages and from further afield. During the day the pub has been popular with walkers (Offa’s Dyke), climbers and cyclists.
Since Woodcroft developed as a hamlet in the early nineteenth century, its main amenity has been the Rising Sun Public House. It was first mentioned in 1858 when the landlord was a James Reece. The Pub was supported by a post office for a time, but this closed in the 1980’s.
In 1891 the Rising Sun was first tied to a brewery; Daniel Sykes & Co. Redcliffe Brewery in Bristol. Since then, the Rising Sun has been owned by various brewery companies, and has operated on a tenancy basis. From 2005 it was owned by Pubfolio Ltd and was put up for sale in 2012 along with nearly 80 other pubs when the company went into administration. In October 2012 it was acquired by the previous owners, who closed the pub in order to develop the land into housing.
Ten years later in 2022, the pub was bought by the community in order to return it to its original role as a community asset. It is presently undergoing refurbishment by the local community in order to reopen in the Autumn of 2022.
The Rising Sun lies in the village of Woodcroft at the top of Wye Valley gorge, approximately 2 miles north of Chepstow. It is on the edge of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The village of Woodcroft is on the border of Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire, forming part of the civil parish of Tidenham in Gloucestershire, in the administrative areas covered by the Forest of Dean.
The local area has many footpaths and walks, with the Offa’s Dyke Path and Gloucestershire Way passing within a couple of hundred meters of the Rising Sun. The Offa’s Dyke Path, in particular, is popular with walkers year-round. The adjacent cliffs in the Wye valley at Wintour’s Leap and Ban-Y-Gor provide some demanding rock climbing which is popular with climbers from all over the country.
Woodcroft itself is a small village, with a population of about 220. It is surrounded by other villages and hamlets such as Tidenham (pop. est. 100), Boughspring (pop. est. 150) and Tutshill (pop. est. 1000). None of these have their own Pub and all form part of the catchment for the Rising Sun.