The Bell Hotel was probably Gloucester’s most prestigious hotel. In 1785 it had become the official stopping place for the London mail coach.
Gloucester Journal: April 17th, 1786 – The 7th Subscription Assembly and Ball will be held at the Bell Inn on Thursday next the 20th instant. To begin precisely at seven o’clock.
On October 22nd 1868 seven doctors met at the Bell Hotel in Gloucester and unanimously decided to form a branch of the British Medical Association (BMA). This ‘friendly and scientific’ society had been inaugurated at Worcester 36 years earlier in 1832. Dr. Thomas Evans, physician to the Gloucester Infirmary, was elected first president and Mr. Alfred Fleichmann, who convened the meeting, the first secretary.
Gloucester Journal: July, 2nd, 1881 – The Gloucester Tramways. The new Gloucester Tramways Company will take formal possession this (Saturday) morning at 12 o’clock. The directors have invited the Mayor and Corporation to accompany them on the first journey, when the new cars will be used. A Luncheon will afterwards take place at the Bell Hotel.
In 1906 an advertisement read: “Gloucester Bell Hotel Co. Ltd. Superior rubber tyred broughams, brakes, omnibuses, hansoms and every description of carriage on hire. Post Horses. Wedding Equipages. Omnibuses to and from railway stations. Pair and four horse brakes for pleasure boxes. Livery stables. Large loose boxes.”
The Bell Hotel closed its doors for the last time on the afternoon of Friday September 29th 1967.
It was replaced by the Eastgate / Southgate shopping redevelopment which, needless to say, has no architectural value whatsoever.
Landlords / Proprietors at the Bell Hotel include:
1830 Thomas Marsh
1856 Miss M. Marsh
1879 T. Allen (Bell Hotel Company Limited)
1893, 1906 Miss J.A. Jones
1919 Miss E.P. Beeching
1927 Miss E.M. Thirlwall
1931-1939 1945-1963 Lilian Emily Cawthorn (moved to the Victoria Hotel, Newnham on Severn when the Bell Hotel was requisitioned in 1939)