The hamlets of Dursley Cross and Ganders Green lie to the north of Longhope village on the northern side of the A40 Gloucester to Ross road. The settlements are on the southern slopes of May Hill. The present-day route of the A40 through the parish was constructed in the mid to late 1820’s. In the 18th Century the route taken from Gloucester, through Longhope, towards Ross on Wye and Wales took a curving course through narrow and very steep lanes on which a ‘wayside cross marked a crossroads at Dursley Cross.’ Today the route the original highway is hardly discernible and can only be identified by the line of a public footpath. The sign of the Cross Inn was on the original line of the ancient Gloucester to Ross road, and the building today – now a private residence called Dursley Cross House – is in an isolated location at the end of a short track.
In 1891 Ann Drinkwater was the owner of the Cross Inn, with Mary Aston in occupancy. It was an alehouse, free of brewery tie, with an annual rateable value of £9.10s.0d. It seems that Mrs Drinkwater sold the Cross Inn to Francis Wintle as in 1903 the Forest Brewery of Mitcheldean had bought the pub. Closing time was set at 10 pm.
When the property estate of the Wintle’s Forest Brewery was put up for sale in 1923 the inventory of the Dursley Cross Inn described the premises as ‘freehold and fully licensed substantial stone building’, On the ground floor there was a bar, large club room, store room, kitchen and pantry. There were three bedrooms and a lumber room upstairs. The basement had ‘cellarage for beers, wines and spirits’. To the outside of the Dursley Cross Inn was a ‘nice vegetable garden, pot house, closet, three pig cots and a two-stall stable. Included in this holding is a small piece of garden ground in fir patches, a few minutes walk from the house.’ The rent in 1923 was £24.0s.0d. per annum.
It closed as a pub in the late 1950’s / early 1960’s. No doubt its demise was because of its out-of-the-way location and the lack of car parking might have been a contributory factor. In her book ‘Pubs of the Royal Forest of Dean’ (Logaston Press, 2004), Heather Hurley wrote, ‘The ancient cross-roads at Dursley was marked with a stone cross. The remains now consist of a ‘base partly buried in the grass by a fence. It was moved here by the then publican of the Dursley Cross Inn from its position on a nearby grassy platt in order to enlarge the car park.’
Landlords at the Cross Inn include:
1838 Thomas Beard
1856 James Browning
1885 Mrs Jane Aston
1891 Mary Aston
1902, 1939 Thomas William Reed