The Ruperra.1920
The Ruperra 2013

The Ruperra Arms 2013

The Ruperra 2013

Landlords and Breweries

The Ruperra Arms c 1920

The Ruperra Arms is now a Free House, having been purchased from Punch Taverns in 2013.

In the middle of the 1920s The Ruperra Arms was owned by Griffiths Brothers Ltd of Alexandra Road Newport and High Street Blaina where they had a brewery and a depot in Newport. The Rumney Iron Company owned the Andrew Buchan Company with their Rumney Brewery. On the 26th August 1929 the Griffiths Brothers and the Rhymney Iron Company joined together to found a new company Andrew Buchan Breweries Limited. (Company Minute
Book)  The Griffiths Brothers Brewery had 28 tied Pubs with some in Newport (Glover1993).

This explains why the Licensing Register for 1948 indicates that the Ruperra Arms is owned by Andrew Buchan Breweries.(licensing Register)
On the 5th February 1957 Andrew Buchan Breweries become Rhymney Brewery Ltd Cardiff and in 1966 Rhymney Breweries Ltd was taken over by Whitbread & Co Ltd who in 1969 formed Whitbread Wales with the acquisition of the Vale of Neath Brewery (Edwards 1974) belonging to Evan Evans Bevan Ltd Neath.  (Redman 1992)

In 2001 Whitbread Group PLC sold its breweries and brewing interests (Whitbread Beer Company) to Interbrew known as InBev, which owns the Magor brewery. Scorpio Inns had bought 115 outlets, from Whitbread (The buying game 1997) and one of them was the Ruperra Arms. In 2006 Scorpios holding company,  ING Real estate income trust sold its public house portfolio to Punch Taverns.) Punch Taverns sold the Freehold of the property to the current owner Jon Thomas in 2013.

Bassaleg Aspects of its History   Roger Phillips, 1991  Published by C.R.W. Phillips, 45 Penylan Close,  Bassaleg
Newport    Printed by The starling Press Ltd Rogerstone, Newport
Between Mountain and Marsh    J Antony Pickford B.A.Oxon 1947 Printed by R.H Johns Ltd, Newport

Prince of Ales The History of Brewing in Wales by Brian Glover First published 1993    Alan Sutton Publisher, Pheonix Mill                                                                                                                                           Thrup, Stroud,  Gloucestershire

Whitbread in South Wales. A History, by Nick Redman, published by Whitbread plc (1992)


tfn-ban-tsm/lam: ING UK Real Estate sells Scorpio Inns to Punch Taverns for 17.55 mln stg Mon, 9th Oct 2006
Griffiths Brothers Limited, Minute Book Glamorgan Archive Ref.  DRB/B/1
Edwards E.E. Echoes of Rhymney, 2nd edition 1974 Starling Press
The Buying Games Thursday 16 October 1997      (Domain n ow expired)

Licensing Register Gwent Records Office C/P/N/R/1
Ruperra Arms C 1920 Reflective Image http:/

John Harris Bsc Hons (Open)
March 2011  If you have any stories let me know


This story starts in the middle of the 19th century with plot 729 on the 1844 apportionment map of Graig. The land is arable and the tenant is a farmer William Leonard, the owner of the land is Thomas Charles. In the 1861 Census in the Hamlet of Graig there is no mention of Garth Hill but in the 1871 Census, taken on Sunday 2nd April, Garth Hill is established and on the hill there are 9 houses in a terrace down from The Wesleyan Chapel with the Ruperra Arms at the bottom of the hill, John Thomas is the Landlord he is from Llanvabon Glamorgan

Although the census of 1871 indicates the Ruperra Arms incumbent as a publican and plate layer, it is not certain that he had a licence to sell beer. Pickford in 1947 did not think it had been built and didn't have a licence as late as 1884 (Pickford 1947) pp 105-106. We now know it was operating in 1871 and was probably built about 1868 starting life as a beer house.

Under an 1830 Act any householder who paid rates could apply, with a one off payment of two guineas, to sell beer and cider in their home, (usually the front parlour). I am told that this is how the beer was dispensed, from a barrel on the table and a jug to pour the beer out for the customer.  Often profits were so high the owners were able to buy the house next door to live in, turning every room in their former home into bars and lounges for customers. (Wikipedia 1)
If you go outside and look at the pub from across the road you can see that the last of the terraced houses is part of the Ruperra and today this is the restaurant’s kitchen, and upstairs the living quarters

The beer house would apply topical pub names in an effort to reflect the mood of the time. (Wikipedia 1) and my hypothesis is that the Ruperra is no different. In 1867 the eldest son of the Honourable Fredrick Courtney of Ruperra Castle was born. This was Courtney Charles Evan Morgan who would become the 1st Viscount Tredegar (Wikipedia 2) As the Morgan estate owned most of Bassaleg at that time I am sure it would have been well known and as the Honourable Fredrick was a military man, what better name than to reflect this occasion but to name the beer house the Ruperra Arms.

John Thomas is still selling the beer in 1881 and describes himself as an Inn Keeper. He continues until his death at the Ruperra Arms on the 4th August 1888. In the Newport directories for 1889 and 1890 the pub is run by Mrs R Thomas of Fair Oak Bassaleg. The next incumbent is Thomas Jones from Bedwas - he is there on Sunday 3rd April 1891 as the Inn Keeper with his sisters Janet and Annie Jones. It is possible he leaves the pub in 1910, as by the 2nd April 1911 Janet Jones is the Inn Keeper. Using the Newport directories Janet is Inn Keeper until 1928 although she describes herself as a beer retailer in the Kelly's directory entry for Bassaleg.

Between 1929 and February 1950 William and Elizabeth Davies are looking after the Ruperra Arms. This is the time when Roger Phillips described how the Ruperra Arms was.  The Ruperra in those days was equally a villagers' pub - a wholesome strict house with scrubbed floors, a cribbage board, simple darts and no frills, it was run on strict lines by the much respected Davies family.  During the war it became the unofficial headquarters and second home of the teachers from Eltham whose children were taught in the Church Hall.       (Phillips 1991) page 102.



John and Ann Thomas



Thomas Jones


Griffiths Brothers Brewery Newport 1926

Janet Jones


Andrew Buchan Breweries               1929

William and Elizabeth Davies



Bertram Charles and Doreen Millichamp


Rhymney Breweries Cardiff             1957

Eric George and Violet Hopkins


Whitbread Wales                               1966

Edward and Elsie Edwards



Graham Williams and Billy



Angelo and Ruby Belli



David and Janice Wilson



John Currell

1997 -2002

Scorpio Inns                                        1997

Paul and Tanya Verallo


Punch Inns                                          2002

Sue Shaw



Michael White and Sian



Jon Thomas

Between 1950 and February 1956 Bertram Charles and Doreen Millichamp are resident and between April 1956 and February 1959 Eric George and Violet Hopkins take charge. Eric died in a chair while having a drink in the pub in 2001 although his death certificate does not say the Ruperra Arms; those that remember it say it happened.

On the 1st January 1960 Edward and Elsie Edwards are the hosts until 1974 when Graham Williams and Billy have charge of the beer taps.
In 1976 Angelo and Ruby Belli take residence and in 1984 David and Janice Wilson take on the responsibility. In 1991 John Currell is the landlord.
1997 brings Paul and Tanya Verallo to the Ruperra when Sue Shaw takes on the lease to run the pub from 2002.  In 2009 Michael and Sian White took  over the running of the Ruperra Arms as a pub with a restaurant, with Michael White as the the chef in the Kitchen.  in 2012 the premises became vacant until the current owner Jon Thomas bought the freehold to continue running as a pub and restaurant.

The Ruperra Arms Bassaleg


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The Ruperra Arms
Caerphilly Road
NP10 8LJ

Exit M4 J28 onto A48 towards A467 Newport/Risca
Rbt: - 1st exit onto A4072/A467
Rbt: - 1st exit onto A468
The Ruperra is straight ahead as you drive.

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