The 18th century Cross Inn is on the corner of Star Lane and Hampton Hill. It now trades as the Queen Matilda Country Inn.

The Stroud Brewery Courier, June 1949: All customers over eighty years of age are provided with cushions in the public bar at the Cross Inn, Avening. At the moment they have five regulars who qualify!

Courtesy Nailsworth Town Archives

The Citizen, 10th August 1974 – Now it’s “time” for the landlord: Landlord Cyril Wilson pulls his last pint this week – after 29 years in the licensed trade. Mr Wilson, one of the longest serving licensees in the Stroud area, is retiring and moving to Box. For the past nine years he has kept the Cross Inn, Avening. Previously he was landlord of the Bedford Arms, Stroud, for 20 years.

Mr Wilson (66), married with two children, is a former committee member of the local Licensed Victuallers Association, and a life member of Stroud Conservative Club. He has represented Gloucestershire at bowls, and in his younger days, played soccer for Brimscombe, Rodborough Old Boys and Woodchester. Before entering the licensed trade he was an engineering worker at two aircraft factories near Gloucester.

June 1999

Stroud News & Journal, 12th August 2004 – Rock fans are seeing red: More than 100 people packed into an Avening pub to see a group of pint-sized rockers perform their debut gig. The band, called Red Rox, sang legendary rock tracks at the Cross Inn on Saturday evening. The aspiring rock stars are 11-year-old school friends James Dolman (drums), Jack Wilkinson (lead guitar) and Charles Russell (keyboard and vocals). And they were given an electric reaction from the audience, which included the local vicar, children and the former manager of 1970’s band Mud.

June 1999

Stroud News, 2nd October 2007 – Well known Cotswold Inn has sold: A well known 18th century Cotswold Inn has been sold to Stroud-based chefs Glyn and Claire Crosthwaite. The Cross Inn, located in a conservation area in the village of Avening, near Tetbury and Nailsworth, went on the market in March.

Property agents, Christie & Co were asking £30,000 for the remaing eight years of the current Punch Taverns’ lease, with an annual rent of £23,000. The business was sold for an undisclosed figure. Samantha Checketts, of Christie & Co’s Bristol office, said: “We are delighted to have sold The Cross Inn on behalf of David and Rebecca Harris, who had operated the pub for some two and a half years. “This is a first time business purchase for the new owners, Glyn and Claire Crosthwaite. However they have a wealth of experience in the licensed trade; Glyn has over 20 years experience as a chef. They intend to focus on improving the pub and introducing good food. We wish thm every success at this character village inn in a beautiful South Cotswolds setting.”

Built of honey-coloured Cotswold stone with a slate roof, The Cross Inn has a main bar with snug, a lounge bar or dining room, a large first floor function room with bar and skittle alley, three-bedroom owner’s accommodation, a large garden with terrace and a large car park. The pub is a hub of the local community with its own darts team and three skittles teams, and is also a popular stop-off for walkers on the Cotswold Way.

October 2008

Stroud Life, Wednesday 7th January 2009 – Food review by Ben Falconer (edit): Avening’s Cross Inn has undergone a transformation both in decor and menu and pitches itself as a top-end food restaurant. Chef Glyn has worked for 20 years in restaurants including the Malmaison and as head chef at the Hatton Court Group. And with a string emphasis on food bought locally and everything freshly prepared to order, we had high expectations.

We ate three courses comfortably, pointing to a welcome emphasis on sensibly-sized portons. I felt the improvements to the interior, though necessary, leave what is a 16th Century building a little short on autheniticy and atmosphere. but it’s a pub well on the way up and not far from the top.

Stroud Life, 23rd February 2010 – Pub could be hub… with a village shop in it, too: (by Jo Barber) Pub landlord Glyn Crosthwaite wants to become Avening’s only shopkeeper – by opening a store in his garage. The 41-year-old, who is licensee of The Cross in Avening, is bussy trying to re-open a newsagents and basic stores for the communiy after its last grocery shop closed almost a fortnight ago. “We have garage at the end of our building. It is pretty much wasted space. Hopefully, within the next three or four weeks, we will be opening a small convenience shop,” Mr Crosthwaite said.

So far, officials of the local Cotswold District planning authority have not raised any objections, nor have the owners of The Cross, which Mr Crosthwaite holds on a lease. “Everything is looking good so far”, he said. Avening sub-post office also shut when the last stores closed after almost a century in the village. But mr Crosthwaite said he did not feel his premises were big enough to also accommodate a post office.

Stroud Life, 28th April 2010 – Cross is thriving after big facelift: In the three years since they took over The Cross Inn in Avening, Glyn and Claire Crosthwaite have transformed it from somewhere that was, in all honesty, a bit down at heel into a thriving pub. Virtually the whole pub, including the skittle alley, has been refurbished but it’s not only the buildngs that have been changed, as Glyn explained:

“We firmly believe that a warm welcome is what makes a pub special and everyone who comes here is guaranteed to be greeted with a smile. We have two children at local schools so we welcome families. We also introduced food as soon as we became landlords.” Glyn has 20 years’ experience of working in restaurants. He said, “I suppose you could call the style of food here as modern British. It’s prepared on the premises and home-cooked.

Stroud Life, 19th May 2010 – Pub landlord delights village with new store: Publican Glyn Crosthwaite has just become Avening’s only shopkeeper. The licensee of The Cross Inn has filled a gap in his community’s life by launching the new newsagents and village stores. The converted garage behind his pub was officially opened by Avening rector the Rev Celia Carter, who cut a ribbon on Saturday. Until the ceremony residents had been without a shop for three months after the previous store closed just across the road.

But noe Mr Crosthwaite and his wife Claire are confident their open-all-hours shop will be a success, seven days a week. With general household supplies, cigarettes and tobaco and fresh bread among its stock, Cross Inn Village Store will be open 7am to 9pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 7pm at weekends.

The Rev Celia Carter officially opens the new Cross Inn Village Store with, from left, Glyn, Jade, Claire and Jordan Crosthwaite (original photo Simon Pizzey)

Image Courtesy Dave Kirby

The Gazette, 10th December 2014 – Past resurrected by a reopened free house: Revellers are raising a glass to the opening of Queen Matilda Tavern, formerly The Cross at Avening. The free house run by Lynne and Matt Trulocke, who formerly ran a busy restaurant in Dorset, sells Stroud Brewery Ales, local produce and offers the comfort of a log-burning fire. Lynne’s husband Matt has previously worked as head chef in other pubs and the pair have even dabbled in the club industry in London.

The pub has been named after William the Conqueror’s wife, Matilda, who was the first crowned queen of England and was gifted the village of Avening by her husband. Landord Lynne Trulocke said: “She had formerly been in love with a man called Brittic, who had rejected her, so when she became queen she had him thrown into prison where he died. Later she felt guilty about this and built the Church of the Holy Cross to compensate. We thought it would be nice for her to have a pub named after her in Avening and are very keen to be an important contribution to the village so that is why we have named the pub after its most famous resident.”

She added: “It looks completely different to how it did before but we have worked very hard to keep it nice and traditional. Our menu consists of classic pub food cooked ourselves.”

Colliers, 25th January 2022:

Avening’s village inn the Queen Matilda is reopening this year under new ownership following its sale to Joanne Vogler and James Redding this month.

The traditional pub with three letting bedrooms in Star Lane, is constructed in mellow Cotswold stone, with a slate roof, and in part dates back to the 1600s. Currently it operates five evenings a week and a Sunday lunch trade. 

The previously owners had bought the business in July 2014 and completely refurbished the pub before reopening that autumn. In 2016 they added three letting bedrooms to the business creating additional revenue. The couple sold the pub, which also includes owners’ accommodation, in order to begin their retirement this year.

Joanne said: “We’re very excited to have taken over the Queen Matilda and look forward to becoming part of the Avening community. Currently closed for renovations, we are hoping to open in March to welcome guests to stay and dine, enjoying good food and wine which focuses on local and seasonal ingredients.”

The Queen Matilda is located in the town of Avening, which is home to Princess Anne’s Gatcombe Park and its famous horse trials. The inn has ample outside space for customers to enjoy with picnic tables at the front to catch the evening sun, while there is also further seating at the back with a garden and an orchard with plum, pear and apple trees. 

Peter Brunt from Colliers’ Hotel Agency team which acted for the vendors, said: “The Queen Matilda is one of those pubs that you would love to have as your local, it’s incredibly inviting when you walk through the doors, especially with its three roaring fireplaces. 

“Our clients created a great business which has suited their requirements, but the beauty of it is that there’s room for growth if the new owners desire it. There’s already planning permission to create two additional letting bedrooms, and the possibility of more additional trading hours, depending on their priorities. I wish Joanne and James the best of luck in their new venture.” 

Gloucestershire Live, 20th January 2024

A historic pub in Avening could soon become a private residence as the owners have applied for planning permission to convert the struggling business into a family home. James Redding and Joanne Vogler have filed an application to turn the Queen Matilda Tavern from a pub into a home after amassing yearly losses of up to £146,000. The public house ceased operation in February 2023, however holiday lets are still operational, the intention is to keep these rooms in operation, owned and run by the applicants. The website states the Queen Matilda Country Rooms are: “Open and operating as usual, however, please note, that sadly our restaurant/pub will not be open when you stay with us, however, our warm hospitality, cosy rooms and delicious continental breakfast are all here ready to welcome you.” The planning application states: “Since purchasing the Queen Matilda Tavern, the applicants have made consistent efforts to make the business work. The applicants have had previous experience in business and hospitality and have employed a good chef, embraced social media and tried out a variety of marketing strategies to entice new customers. “Consequently, the applicant seeks to adapt the property for his family to reside in.” The pub had been making significant losses despite achieving a top three rating for food. The application states: “The number of closures of independent and large restaurants, cafes and pubs is set to continue. We are seeing over three a day across the country. “The appetite for commercial lending for restaurants and pubs is declining due to the state of the industry.”

Planning applicaton Ref: 23/04043/FUL

Map Reference: ST 885978

Licensing Details:

Owner in 1891: Stroud Brewery

Rateable value in 1891: £9.10s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Stroud Brewery (listed as the Golden Cross Inn)

Rateable value in 1903: £9.10s.0d. (listed as the Golden Cross Inn)

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse (listed as the Golden Cross Inn)

Closing time in 1903: 10pm (listed as the Golden Cross Inn)

Landlords at the Cross Inn include:

1856 James Sharp

1885,1902 Thomas Essex

1903,1906 Honor Dee (Mrs Honor Dee in 1906)

1919,1927 Frederick Dee

1939 Joseph Mullen

1948,1950 John Latham

1965-1974 Cyril Wilson (previously at Bedford Arms, Stroud)

2005,2007 David and Rebecca Harris

2007,2008 Glyn and Claire Crosthwaite

James Redding and Joanne Vogler

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