A CLOSED down historic town centre pub beside Ross-on-Wye’s historic Market House is set to be taken on and reopened next month by a local brewery.

The Crown & Sceptre ceased trading just before Christmas after Herefordshire Council withdrew the license in the wake of a police drugs raid at the premises, which led to the arrest of four men.  

But the pub is now set for a new lease of life after being taken on by the family behind the town’s award-winning micro Tap House pub and Motley Hog Brewery. 

And taking on the lease fulfils a long-held wish to run a large traditional pub where families are welcome, says business owner Nigel Ree.

“We started the company after converting an old TV repair shop and turning it into a micro pub,” he said.

“We have been brewing for 18 months and as well as supplying our own micro pub we have also sold beer to pubs around the three counties.Taking on the lease for the Crown and Sceptre will enable us to fulfill a long’held ambition to run a large traditional pub where families are welcome.

“We intend initially to have eight cask beers, a mix of our own and guest ales from around the country, 12 keg lines including two craft lagers and two craft ciders, ordinary pub spirits and a choice of wines from around the world. 

“We are intending to rent the kitchen out to a professional chef who will prepare and serve food cooked fresh on the premises.

“The function room will be updated and be available for meetings/training in the week and other events on the weekend, and the rear garden will be upgraded and made child friendly with new furniture and plants. A food smoker will also be in the garden for smoked meats at events.”

The Crown & Sceptre dates back to the 17th century and occupies a key position at the heart of historic Ross-on-Wye.

But its future was thrown into doubt when police raided the premises just before Christmas, with the licencing authority first suspending then revoking the licence of the then licensee.  

The Tap House pub on Millpond Street opposite the town’s Morrisons supermarket opened five years ago on the site of the town’s Alton Court Brewery tap and was named Herefordshire Pub of the Year by CAMRA the following year.