William Peat, a weaver from the village of Ockbrook, bought the house and turned it into a public house in 1762 and it remained in the Peat family for 130 years. He choose the name ‘Royal Oak’ as it commemorated the flight of King Charles I when he hid in an oak tree to avoid Cromwell’s soldiers, but that was in 1651 and in the County of Shropshire. However it was a good strong royal name.
During the Peat’s family ownership of the Royal Oak, The Ockbrook Male Friendly Society was established in 1814 and held their annual feast day on Whit Tuesday.
In 1898 the Peat family sold the business to Offilers Brewery for £3920.
The first Landlord under Offilers was William Lambert. In 1910, during his tenancy, a new clubroom was built where annual dinners were held for the newly formed ‘Ockbrook Shaving and Swearing Club’
During the first World War the Clubroom was home to German Prisoners.
The Lamberts were followed by the Dolman Family, then the Simms Family.
In 1953, Coronation year of Queen Elizabeth II, Olive Wilson took over the licence at the Royal Oak. Offilers Brewery were still the owners, but they sold out to Charrington in 1965, and subsequently merged with Bass in 1967. More recently Bass have been taken over by Coors.
The Wilson family bought the Royal Oak in 1989, making it a free-house.