The Bailey Head has stood as a pub since the 18th century. A brewery owned pub until 2016, it was originally called the Castle Tavern, before being changed to The Eagles for most of its life and then briefly back to the Castle Tavern.
In 2016 husband and wife team Grace Goodlad and Duncan Borrowman purchased the freehold of the building off Marstons. Having come from running a CAMRA multi award winning club, which reached the national final of Club of the Year, they renamed the pub The Bailey Head and reopened it with a new vision.
The focus moved to being a community centred pub with a concentration on microbrewery real ale and craft beer, small producer spirits and locally produced food such as cheese boards, charcuterie, pork pies, scotch eggs, vegan soups and local venison casserole.
Their real ale offering saw them winning the Shrewsbury and West Shropshire Market Towns Pub of the Year award in their first year, an award they have won every year since, as well as winning the overall Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA Pub of the Year Award in 2018. Also in 2018 the pub was a finalist for the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Best Independent Craft Beer Pub or Bar – Rural.
An ever increasing range of gins, over 100, and other spirits was introduced, followed by a cocktail menu.
On 11 March 2020 Grace and Duncan headed the Society of Independent Brewers exhibition in Liverpool for their business awards, having reached the final of Best Independent Craft Beer Pub or Bar – Rural for the second time, and were delighted to win the national award! On the same evening they were awarded the Shrewsbury and West Shropshire CAMRA Market Towns Pub of the Year 2020.
The euphoria was short lived, just nine days later the Prime Minister announced the closure of all pubs.
Grace and Duncan were keen to keep a community spirit going, and along with the pub staff set up a virtual pub Facebook group, this was followed by Friday night Zoom virtual pub nights and later on by Wednesday night Zoom pub quizzes hosted by a pub regular.
At the beginning of May 2020 they started doing a beer takeaway service, with people queued around the top of the square and into the car park on the first day. This was followed by the period of being able to reopen with table service.
When pubs were closed again and only allowed to do home delivery they added an online shop for local delivery to their website, offering up to 200 lines of craft beer plus some snacks, cocktails and spirits, all cold stored to keep them fresh.