the history of yeovil's pubs





yew tree inn

Forest Hill


Built in the second half of the nineteenth century, the Yew Tree Inn was originally the farmhouse of Yew Tree Farm.

During the 1930s the building was used as a Sunday School.

The Forest Hill area was developed from 1967, with a small shopping centre, church and community centre. It was felt by the developers and brewers Eldridge Pope of Dorchester, that a public house would be a useful addition to the area. Yew Tree House, which had recently been converted into four flats, was offered for sale and was purchased by the contractor.

Contracts were exchanged in May 1968, planning permission granted in September 1968 and conversion to licensed premises began. The main contractors were Morton builders (Morton & Haim) and the architects were Messrs Crickman.

The Yew Tree Inn opened on 22 May 1969 and its first tenants were John and Betty Waller.

It closed sometime during the early 2000's and reopened briefly as the horrendously overpriced 'La Olivia' restaurant which, not surprisingly, failed miserably.

It then briefly reopened as a public house, but finally closed on 26 June 2004.


Many thanks to Mary Ashby for much of the above.




An aerial photograph of around 1965 showing Yew Tree Farm at centre. Running up to it is an incomplete Forest Hill and at bottom centre is the newly-built Yew Tree Close. The Yew Tree Inn opened on 22 May 1969.




Courtesy of Mary Ashby

The first pint is drawn by Anthony Pope (of the brewers, Eldridge Pope) with John and Betty Waller looking on. John and Betty had previously kept the Mitre in Shaftesbury as well as the Westfield Hotel.


Courtesy of Mary Ashby

The Yew Tree photographed in the early 1970s.


Courtesy of Chris Rendell

The Yew Tree Inn photographed in 1989.


The interior of the Yew Tree Inn, probably photographed during the 1980s.


Courtesy of Mary Ashby

... almost the same shot but a little later. Do you remember the parrot on the bar, at left?


Courtesy of Roger Froude

The old farm cottages at the rear of the Yew Tree Inn, seen at top right. Photographed in 1977.


Courtesy of Roger Froude

The old Yew Tree Farm barn, photographed in 1977, at the beginning of the project to convert it into the Old Barn Club


The Yew Tree Inn photographed in 2003.




1969 – John and Betty Waller
1977 – Henry Hazelhurst
1988 – to Management
1991 – Jeffrey Trattles
1996 – Michael Hammond
1998 – Mary Ashby and Sue Antell