The Kings Head, dominating the south side of the Market Place, had a substantial annual rateable value of £200.0s.0d. in 1891 and 1903.
Some of the building is said to date from the late fifteenth century. Two Posting Houses or inns are listed in the Court Rolls of Edward VI, presumably the Ram and the Kings Head. Both are mentioned by name in 1641-42. Lord Chandos is recorded as obtaining refuge and hospitality at the Kings Head when he escaped from the townspeople while attempting to execute a ‘commission of array’ in 1642, on behalf of Charles I.
The inn sign shows the head of Charles II, who is reputed to have spent a night in Cirencester after escaping from the Parliamentary Army after the Battle of Worcester in 1651. The hotel predates the English Civil War and was probably named for Henry VIII, possibly in recognition of Henry’s dissolution of the St. Mary’s Abey and the subsequent freedom from the rule of the Abbot over the town.
The Kings Head Hotel now boasts 70 en suite bedrooms and a ballroom suite for 300. It also has four conference suites. It was purchased for nearly 3 million pounds in 1997 by Coast and Country Hotels, part of the Shearings holiday group.
In 2005 the Kings Head Hotel was purchased by Wildmoor, a London based private developer. Wildmoor Properties also own the adjacent Corn Hall. Wildmoor Properties have pledged to undertake extensive refurbishment at both the Kings Head Hotel and the Corn Hall to bring the buildings back to their former glory.
In September 2008 the Kings Head Hotel was shrouded with scaffolding. However, it has now reopened.
Owner in 1891: Earl Bathurst (free from brewery tie)
Rateable Value in 1891: £200.0s.0d
Type of license in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Earl Bathurst (free from brewery tie)
Rateable Value in 1903: £200.0s.0d
Type of license in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Kings Head Hotel include:
1792 Mary Gale, Dyer Street
1820 William Date
1830 Elizabeth Date
1840 Thomas Date
1856 T. Bate
1871,1889 Miss Sarah Maria Baker (manageress for Cirencester Hotel Co. Ltd.)
1891,1903 Cirencester Hotel Co
1912, 1927 John Thomson Brockman