9 Portland Street in 1885 and now 17 Portland Street. The Cotswold Hotel was established c.1820.
Mary Wood was the owner of the Cotswold Hotel in 1891 and 1903 and it was a licensed ale house with quite a substantial annual rateable value of £76.10s.0d. She ran the pub free of brewery tie in 1891, but records show that in 1903 she leased the Cotswold Hotel to Salt & Co., brewers of Burton-on-Trent. In the licensing book of that year the only other pub in Gloucestershire to be supplied with Salt’s Burton Ales was the Rising Sun in Eastgate Street, Gloucester.
The Cotswold has lost its hotel status and now trades as the Cotswold Inn. It has been tied to Wadworth of Devizes since 1964.
In the 1970’s Wadworth beers were highly sought after by real ale enthusiasts, their Devizes brewed 6X, labelled ‘Beer from the Wood’, becoming a firm favourite with discerning drinkers. The Cotswold Hotel was an absolute mecca for real ale fans in Cheltenham in the mid 1970’s – a Wadworth tied house surrounded by a sea of Whitbread pubs and a few Courage and Ind Coope pubs dotted around the town from the ‘Big 6’ breweries of that time. Not only did the Cotswold sell great beer it was also a classic traditional pub. I was 18 in 1975, fortuitously a young convert to the delights of traditionally brewed beer, and I remember being slightly intimidated in the hustle and bustle, and smoky atmosphere, of this popular back-street boozer. Walking into the pub there was a comfortable lounge bar on the left and an unspoilt public bar to the right. Wadworth 6X was sold on handpump, but in the dark and cold nights of winter the classic Wadworth Old Timer strong ale was sold direct from a wooden cask on the bar, probably for about 35 pence a pint. The bar was thin and narrow, making it seem claustrophobic in busy periods, but it was worth the discomfort to enjoy the company of like-minded people all sharing a passion for great beer. The ambience was enhanced by wall mounted gas-lit lanterns throwing flickering light into the room. At that time the Cotswold Hotel was in the middle of a row of Georgian terraced buildings. William’s motor-cycle shop was located next door.
The Cotswold Hotel was refurbished in the early 1980’s, brewery pub designers seemingly confident that a refurbishment of the interior layout to create one large open space would enhance the fabric of the building. The exterior has also changed beyond recognition as the adjoining properties to the immediate left of the pub have been demolished to facilitate the construction, at least in part, of the northern relief road. The Cotswold Inn now stands at the end of the terrace, a window on the side elevation obviously being fake.
Landlords at the Cotswold Hotel include:
1870,1878 Joseph Newport
1883,1891 Alexander Edwin Green
1903,1906 Thomas Hughes Sparrow
1919 Joseph Percy
1926,1939 Donald King Higgs
1970’s (dates unknown) Con and Peggy Carroll
1998 Paul Moody
2002 (Sept 11th) Dave Fahey and Denise Stevenson
2005 John and Claire Freeman (moved from the Golden Lion, Cinderford)
2007 Fawzi Kemili