The original Bedford Arms had been founded as the Marlborough Head on the north side of the High Street in 1776 near the present Lloyds TSB site (63-55 High Street, GL5 3DZ). It frontage projected some nine feet into the street. In August 1836 the frontage of the Marlborough Head was put back and the inn was renamed The Bedford Arms in honour of Lord John Russell’s father, the Duke of Bedford.
The ‘Stroud News’ reported on December 18th (sorry, no year listed, presumably 1836) that the Bedford Arms had ‘removed to the Old Crown and Anchor, and was to be opened on 22nd December by Smith the woolsorter.’ The ‘old’ Bedford Arms was bought by Mills Bros. The upper part became a School of Art and the lower part a storeroom.
The new Bedford Arms on the site of the former Crown and Anchor was on the corner of High Street and Church Street. Numbered 51 High Street in 1885 and 1927 directories. The single gabled pub featured a large decorative coat of arms above the front window (the Bedford family coat of arms?). The front window was etched with the words ‘Stroud Brewery Co. Ltd. Ales & Stouts. Wines & Spirits.’ When the Bedford Arms was later modernised the brick building was rendered in plaster, the coat of arms was removed and the brewery window replaced with another which simply read ‘Stroud Brewery, Cotswold Beers.’
The Bedford Arms had closed by 1963. The building has been demolished.
Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1891: £20.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £20.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Bedford Arms include:
1830 Charles Holder (Marlborough Head)
1856 W.B. Smith
1885,1891 Walter John Organ
1902 James Horler
1903 William E. Wilden
1906 Charles Horler
1907-1914 Charles Hall (played Rugby for Gloucester and England)
1919 Mrs Ellen Hall
1927 William Carter
? Cyril (Cocker) Wilson
1945-1965 Cyril Wilson (moved to the Cross Inn, Avening)