The Bonny Thatch later called The Hope and Anchor was situated at the end of Sedbury Lane near to the junction with Beachley Road at the back of Severn Lodge. It was well placed on the road from Beachley Ferry at the top of the hill down into Chepstow. Many notable people must have passed by the hostelry on their way to Chepstow, some of them may have called in. One traveller who wrote of his visit to the inn was William Makepeace Thackeray who visited Chepstow in 1842. He was caught in the rain but received a welcome at the Bonny Thatch where he found ‘ a policeman drying his shins at a snug fire, and a pretty little coquette of a landlord’s daughter, a pretty maid and a landlady who had been pretty once.’
He went on to describe the room ‘dark, neat and comfortable and about nine feet square’
Thackeray wrote that two rooms and board cost a guinea a week, he ate salmon which he could not praise enough, he ate it with a little slt and a slice of bread, ‘it leaves the inner man in an unspeakable state of rapture and ease and comfort’.
The inn is first recorded in Piggot’s directory of 1835 when Kitchen was the landlord, the 1841 census lists him as John Kitchen.
By 1849 the inn was in the hands of the Baker family who were the landlords through until 1875. Mrs Sarah Baker died on July 1st 1874 aged 85 after twenty five years at the hostelry, her husband Matthew died in 1860.
The Hope and Anchor was for several years the meeting place of the Tidenham Friendly Society however in 1959 a vote was taken to move to the Sugar Loaf Inn, they later met at the Cross Keys. Each Whit Monday the Friendly Society, which was formed in 1835, would meet at the clubroom and hold a procession to the parish church, via Bishton Farm where Mr Rymer gave them cider.
At St Mary’s, Tidenham, a service would be held and then the procession continued behind a band around the various large houses collecting contributions. The finale would be a meal at the club room, this was later the Cross Keys.
By 1881 the Bonny Thatch disappeared from the census by name, but it may be the cottage where John and Mary Cox lived.