In 1856 the Cross Hands was owned by Richard Organ and it brewed its own beer on the premises.  In 1875 the Cross Hands was sold to William Sadler Hall who ran a small brewery at the Royal William, Cranham. When William Sadler Hall died in 1914 the brewery at the Royal William closed and the small tied estate was sold to Godsell & Sons of Stroud. Stroud Brewery Company acquired Godsell’s Brewery in 1928.

The four images above show the original Cross Hands.

When Gloucestershire County Council submitted plans to widen the road junction the opportunity was taken by the Stroud Brewery to build a new pub which was built immediately behind the old one on the north-eastern corner of the cross roads. A roundabout was built on the site of the original pub.  On 13th December 1937 the new Cross Hands Inn opened. The Stroud Brewery described the pub as ‘well marked on R.A.C. maps at the intersection of the Gloucester – Cirencester and Stroud – Cheltenham roads, this house offers excellent accommodation and a double skittle alley.’

Image: Peckhams of Stroud

The Cross Hands was tied to Whitbread for many years. In the 1960’s the skittle alley was the venue for the Dandelion Club where discos took place with the occasional live band – Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac played there on Valentines Day, 14th February 1968.

Courtesy Richard Goddard

In 1970 an application was submitted to Gloucestershire planners for a £500,000 200 bedroom motel at the Cross Hands but the plans never materialised. In the 1990’s the Cross Hands was a Brewers Fayre pub. 

The Citizen: Thursday, March 31st, 1988 – Councillors’ pub worries: Skittle alleys are being taken over by eating houses according to Brockworth councillors. Coun, Len Hendry told the parish council: “Skittles alleys are being closed in Brockworth and turned into fancy eating houses.” He was speaking in connection with the Cross Hands pub on the Ermin Street roundabout at Brockworth which wanted permission for illuminated signs on its façade. Coun. Benjamin Harwood said: “There’s no such thing as a country pub these days.” The council recommended the Whitbread brewers should have permission for the signs providing they noted their view: “We are not exactly happy with the way country pubs are going.”

In March 2002 the Cross Hands had a £400,000 revamp and reopened as Brewsters, a ‘family fun pub with a multi level fun factory packed with ball pools, climbing ropes and slides – and an ice cream factory where children can create their own deserts.’ The Brewsters children’s theme pub only lasted until July 2005 when the Cross Hands was again rebranded as a Brewers Fayre outlet retaining the Brewsters Fun Factory inside.

The Whitbread Group, owners of the Brewsters and Brewers Fayre chain, sold off some of their pubs.  The Cross Hands was acquired by Mitchell & Butlers Leisure Retail Limited. The Toby Carvery at the Cross Hands opened on 18th December 2006.

Toby Carvery 2010

Licensing Details:

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1891: William Sadler Hall, Royal William, Cranham

Rateable Value in 1903: £20.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: William Sadler Hall, Royal William, Cranham

Closing time in 1903: 10pm

Landlords at the Cross Hands include:

1856 Richard Organ (died in 1873)

?      Emma Sarah Fletcher (sold the inn to William Sadler Hall)

1879 William Evans

1881 Joshua White (see the Royal Oak, Hucclecote)

1885 John Gastrell

1891 Thomas Coleman

1897 S. Coleman (Mrs)

1897,1906 Charles Selwyn (license transferred to Charles Selwyn on 18th December 1897)

1919 Mrs Mary A. Selwyn

1927 Geo. Hy. Green

1936 G. Green

1937-1948  John Edward Pinn

1948 Mr and Mrs Leslie Gwatkin

1968 Mr and Mrs Eskins

2002 Steve Brown (General Manager, Brewsters)

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