About Us

Here is just a little info to let you get to know us better...


Here is a little potted history of our pub and the local area... if you have a spare minute or two and maybe a cup of tea (or is that a G&T), we think it's well worth a read.

The Fox, originally called the Fox and Duck, was actually situated across the road from the current site, but in the 1920s the brewers Joules, based in Stone in Staffordshire, decided to get a grip and do things properly, and a purpose-built pub was commissioned. The wooden fireplace in the front bar is an original Joules fireplace, the design of which was used in many of their pubs.

Original Joules fireplace

Joules were taken over by Bass, who also had bought the Mitchell and Butler brand, so the Fox and Duck eventually became a Mitchell and Butlers pub. Strangely enough, even though the pub moved to its present site over 80 years ago, the current Ordinance Survey map still shows the 'PH' symbol in its original position over the road.

In the 80's the Monopolies and Mergers Commission compelled large breweries to sell off much of their pub estates, and the Fox and Duck was sold into the free trade.

Shortly afterwards, under the ownership of Arthur Foxcroft, the pub was significantly extended to the left hand side as you look at it, to give a function room with bedrooms above. The original building ended on the left hand wall of the front bar, so everything beyond that was the new addition. It was run as a small hotel with ten letting bedrooms, and had an excellent reputation for food.

In July 2001, the Fox and Duck was bought by Derek and Sandra Longstaff. They wanted to make a fresh start, so they renamed it the Three Fishes, after the heraldic symbol for Newport.

The Three Fishes

The Three Fishes as a symbol came about as a result of a visit by Henry 1st to Newport in the 12th Century. At that time, the main industry of the town was fishing the three meres, and they were anxious to retain their charter. Henry agreed to this with the caveat that every time he came through the town, he would be presented with three fishes.

Although the layout of the medieval town is still obvious, not many buildings of the time remain. One year before London's Great Fire, Newport had one of its own. Most of the town was destroyed by fire in 1665.

The symbol has been adopted by the Newport Rugby and Cricket Clubs as well as the local school, so the Longstaffs had half the town marching around with free advertising on their shirts, a shrewd bit of marketing if ever there was.

When we took it over in January 2004 we couldn't get stuck into it as we were busy with the Combermere in Burleydam, but when that opened in July we got straight on with the new pub without catching breath.

Some local bits and pieces

A former lord of the Chetwynd Aston manor was the Duke of Sutherland, and his vast industries around Donnington supplied most of the coal for Newport by canal to a coal depot located in the parish. A driveway from his house at Lilleshall had its entrance between Pave Lane and the village of Chetwynd Aston.

Shortly before the French revolution, the owner of the big house at Chetywnd sold the place in a big hurry, as he believed the world was about to end. Quite how this was going to improve the situation was not known - perhaps he though he was getting one over on the purchaser.

Charles Dickens (1812- 1870) stayed at The Bear Hotel in Newport, now called Beaumaris House and part of the Grammar School. Chetwynd House was formerly the home of Elizabeth Parker, the recluse on whom Dickens modelled Miss Havisham in Great Expectations (1861).

Chetwynd Aston was once known as Field Aston, Since the building of the Newport bypass, the village of Chetwynd Aston has been left in comparative peace, and today, especially away from the main road through the village, it is a very pleasant spot.

Just next door to the pub are the beautiful ruins of Lilleshall abbey, including a fine Norman west door and part of the front, and considerable remains of the church and some domestic buildings. The abbey was founded in 1143, under charter from King Stephen, by Richard de Baumes or Belmeis, dean of St Alkmund, Shrewsbury. It was built for Augustinian canons, who were brought from Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire. The last abbot of Lilleshall, John Cockerel, was a fairly serious chap, and Henry VIII had him executed for his pains.

Predictably, there are a number of ghost stories associated with the abbey, notably this one from a local photographer of historic buildings, Lawrence Clout.

Chetwynd-Talbot was the family name of the Earls of Shrewsbury, who were also the Earls of Talbot. The family seat was Alton Towers before it became the massive theme park. Alton Towers' garden was begun in1814 by the eccentric 15th Earl of Shrewsbury, of whom J. C. Loudon (who was consulted on design features) relates that he consulted every artist, only to avoid 'whatever an artist might recommend'.

Under the patronage of the Earl of Shrewsbury, Clément Talbot Ltd was founded in 1903 to import the popular French Clément car into Britain. The famous automobile brand Talbot grew out of this company.

Its greatest success occurred in 1913 when Percy Lambert drove a 25hp Talbot 100 miles within an hour at Brooklands race track in Surrey, the first truly 100mph car.

A 1913 Talbot pilotted by Percy Lambert

If you'd like to put a name to a face, allow us to introduce you to the crew...

Front of house

Samantha Forrest


Sam originally wandered through the doors at the Armoury way back when, looking for casual work, but after a bit gave up her job working for the National Trust to join us full time, to the detriment of our national heritage.She had been the deputy manager at the Fox since the opening, before ascending to the throne in September 2007. Sam is not only mummy to the staff of The Fox, but also to her beautiful 4 year old Ewen who has become very adept at laying tables! In her spare time Sam likes nothing more than spending time gardening, looking after her chickens (the girls) and brewing up some lovely moonshine, as her husband calls it!

Johnathan Sabin

Deputy Manager

Uncle John spent nine glorious years at the Fox before heading off to spread his good cheer in our sister pubs, the Inn at Shipley and the Armoury. But home is where the heart is and 3 years later he has returned to the Fox family. John calls everyone Sweetie, loves a glass of Colombard and a holiday in the sun. Everyone likes John - even Ryan Giggs said 'he was a bit of alright'.


Greg O\'Neil

Head Chef

Greg has worked in an assortment of chef jobs around the Telford area before joining the Fox team. He hales from Wolverhampton and like most boys his age, loves his car and the odd beer or twenty. His favourite colour is pink. No, really - his favourite colour is pink.


Stella Rowley


Stella has lived in Newport all her life and currently lives just opposite the pub with her husband and a ‘little bundle of joy”. She enjoys swimming and socialising but hates shopping, which has got to be something of a first.

Caroline Hough


Caroline, a farmer's wife, previously worked at Weston Park for 22 years “And has the hairs on her chest to prove it” apparently. She likes Yoga and swimming but not necessarily at the same time. She is cheeky and hard working - nice combo!