22 Nelson Street in 1906 & 1939 directories. The Duke of York is long term closed, probably permanently as there is an application in place for residential conversion. It is Grade II listed.
“A clock with the figure of a negro-boy, with a bell before him on which he sounded the hours with a club – ‘the black boy’ – was moved to the front of the Duke of York but on the erection of the National School, entrance to Castle Street in was moved there.” (1844)
Gloucester Journal: November 10th, 1877 – A fire broke out in a stable at the back of the Duke of York Inn, Stroud. By the plucky behaviour of the stable boy, aged 12, a horse was released and just saved from burning. There was no water and consequently the floor, roof and contents of the stable were burnt and damage done amounting to £14 or £15.
The Citizen, 25th January 1984 – New host at the “Duke”: Norman Wilby and his family have swapped their Devonshire off-licence for a new career in Stroud. But far from quitting the licensing trade Norman, his wife Thelma and son Michael have taken over the popular Duke of York in Nelson Street.
“I have always had the thought at the back of my mind that I would like to own a pub,” said Mr. Wilby, whose new business boats a wide range of real ales. Mr Wilby’s new role behind the bar is certainly a far cry from his first career. He joined the army at the sage of 14 and served with the Royal Signals for 26 years. After seven years in Cheshire working with British Nuclear Fuels, he decided to go alone and the family moved to the little village on the edge of Dartmoor.
“We bought an off-licence, started from scratch and worked up the business over five years,” he said. Despite their undoubted success, the Wilby family grew restless and decided in a spell behind a bar. “I suppose we must have looked at about 50 different pubs,” he added.
Now the family are looking forward to a long stay in Stroud. “We are used to a small scale market town atmosphere,” said Mr Wilby, “Stroud is a very bustling place; it’s like the big city to us.”
The Citizen: ‘Five Valley Talk’, Wednesday 8th July 1987: A former accountant for a large concrete company is building a new career for himself behind the bar of the Duke of York in Nelson Street. Running a pub is a new venture for Mr Michael Donohoe but, with the help of his wife Sandra, he has quickly taken to the task and is settling in well. The couple and their twin daughters Carla and Kelly moved to Stroud from London and since then have been working to improve facilities at the pub. Work has been going on both inside and out with particular attention to the kitchen area and overall refurbishing. Mr Donohoe explained that he was aiming for the ‘discerning drinker’, offering a large selection of real ales in an older style pub. The couple’s efforts are already proving their worth with the number of customers using the pub increasing.
In 2003 the Duke of York started hosting live comedy nights on the first Wednesday of every month. The Duke of York claims to be “neither halfway up or halfway down Nelson Street.”
Stroud News & Journal, 22nd August 2007 – Rare newt found in bin: A rare and threatened species of newt was found in a bin bag in the courtyard of a popular Stroud pub. Two newts, one of which was the great crested species, were found in the Duke of York while staff were clearing up.
Owner in 1891: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Rateable value in 1891: £26.0s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Godsell & Sons, Salmon Springs Brewery, Stroud
Rateable value in 1903: £26.10s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Landlords at the Duke of York include:
1830 John Thornton
1843 Mrs Joyce Thornton ‘died on 15th October 1843 at the Duke of York, aged 72’
1856 P. Mills
1885 William Barnabus Webb
1891 William Lewis
1902,1903 Frederick Percy William Godwin
1906 Harry Jackson
1919,1939 Alfred Ernest Chapman (was landlord of the Cross, Woodchester in 1903)
1978 Robert Rickards
1983,1984 Bryan Taylor
1984 Norman and Thelma Wiby
1987 Michael and Sandra Donohoe
2004 Cam Robertson (pub manager)
2007 Anne Thomas (landlady), Roly Apperley (pub manager)