Saracens Head InnGloucester
Herefordshire HR9 6JL


This 17th century riverside pub is a great place to spend some time in, either staying overnight, having a drink or a bite to eat. It is the oldest licensed premises in Symonds Yat and has an interesting history.

I am indebted to a currently defunct website by Nick Stephens for the following information:

"In 1630 Thomas Davies applied to change his waterman's cottage to an alehouse (licensed for Beer, Porter and Cider). He named the place the 'New Inn' and the premises traded under this name for 228 years. In 1858 William Goode changed the name to the Saracens Head.

In the past a very unusual problem existed at Symonds Yat. The county boundary between Gloucestershire and Herefordshire ran up the centre of the river Wye from the rapids to the ferry line and then crossed through the centre of the Saracens Head!

The consequence of this was that the pub effectively had two bars, one in each county, with different opening hours. The original two bars were where the restaurant is now, and the bar as it is today remained as a store-room until the 1960s.

The patio has remained unchanged with the exception of the positioning of the steps and the removal of a giant elm tree in the 1930s The Ice Cream stall is original and has been there since the 1960s.

Throughout Symonds Yat’s transformation from busy industrial site to beautiful tourist destination, the pub has been at the centre of things. Not only did it own the ferry crossing but in the 1960s the Saracens Head owned the campsite with 12 static caravans on it, Penny Royal Cottage and Rose Cottage. 

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River Crossings
The Saracens Head operates one of the two ancient hand pulled line ferries which carry foot passengers across the River Wye. They also own the land and pathway on the west bank up to the lane. Prior to this the ferry line ran to the left of 'Ferryside' - one building across.
The ferryman powers the flat bottomed ferry by pulling on an overhead cable strung across the river. There is a small charge for this quaint service."
The Saracens Head is a family business and the Rollinson family have been the owners since 1993. They serve good food and Real Ales as well as providing delightful B & B accommodation.
Contact & Further Information
Telephone  +44 (0)1600 890 435
Mail  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Google Maps - Saracens Head Inn, Symonds Yat East

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