The Kings Head is an attractive stone built pub in the centre of Dursley. There is an old photograph which shows the Kings Head to be a more simplistic building that it is today. An enamel sign on the building advertises ‘Nailsworth Brewery Ales & Stouts’.
On 2nd November 1895, Mr Ezra Denley of the Kings Head Inn was accused of ‘raffling a watch’ on the premises. The Gloucester Quarter Sessions, held on Wednesday 1st January 1896, heard that the landlord of the Kings Head Inn had appealed against a conviction of the Dursley bench of magistrates who had fined him £1 and costs and endorsed his licence for gambling on the premises.
This rebuild of the Kings Head was done in 1927, according to a brief report in the Cheltenham
Chronicle of Saturday 9th July 1927.
I am grateful to Andy Barton for the following information:
According to a report in the Gloucester Journal of 28th
February 1925, the premises were difficult for police supervision owing
to a back entrance, and the house was unsuitable for the purpose owing
to its darkness and small rooms. “The house was well conducted, food was
supplied, a fair trade was done chiefly among the working-classes, and
the house was used by the Town Football Club and a sick and dividend
Apparently the company who owned it (Cheltenham Original Brewery) was
“prepared to improve the house to suit the police requirements; In fact
they were willing to re-build the place. The justices renewed the
licence of the Kings Head on the understanding that the improvements
mentioned were made.”
The licensee in 1925 was William Frederick Mee. In the same report it
says that the licensee of the Forester’s Arms in Cam (Cheltenham
Original Brewery) was Mrs Bennett.
I also found an earlier reference to the Kings Head, Dursley (Cheltenham
Chronicle, 1st October 1840) which is reporting on the Gloucester area
and states that “Mary (aged 84), relict of the late Mr. Giles Roberts,
of the King’s Head Inn, Dursley, mother of Mr. Wm. Roberts, of the
Nelson Inn, in this city, and for upwards of 40 years landlady of the
former inn.” So she must have been landlady of the Kings Head, Dursley
at the start of the 19th century and for some time after and probably
Western Daily Press: Monday, November 26th 1979 – Go-ahead for the pub lovers: Whitbread Brewery is to allow a landlady to run her public house with her lover. Originally it told Mrs Marie Jones, aged 31, that she would have to leave the Kings Head, Dursley, when her husband Nigel moved out and local bookmaker, Mr Maurice Ball, moved in. But, with the backing of a petition from dozens of regulars, Whitbread changed its mind. Mr and Mrs Jones parted earlier this year, Mr Ball left his wife Marilyn, 29, at about the same time. Mr Jones said the decision to allow his wife to carry on was the best thing. “We invested a lot of money in the pub and it seems only right that Marie should be able to have the benefit,” he said.
In 1999 the Kings Head hosted some of the best established rock and pop acts on the pub circuit – Paul Young, Groundhogs and Wishbone Ash played there, among with some classic tribute bands. Neil Ashcroft told the ‘Dursley Gazette’ in March 2000: “We started the music last September and its just gone crazy now. It certainly changed the scene in here and it wasn’t intentional – it just happened. We are getting packed out and it is almost an institution.” Regrettably Neil and Wendy were in dispute with the brewery and had left by April 2000.
The Kings Head was left empty for three months. In August 2000 the pub opened under new management and was renamed Kings Wine Bar. (Kings).
Gloucestershire Gazette, Thursday 19th January 2023 -New owners bring fresh start to pub: A pub in the centre of Dursley has reopened with new owners promising customers cheap beer, homemade food and a traditional pub atmosphere. The Kings Head in Parsonage Street was officially reopened on Thursday by Dursley mayor Symon Ackroyd.
New landlords Colin Cosimni and his son Moreno took over the venture as they decided that Dursley needed a “good old-fashioned pub like Wetherspoons”. The pub will be open daily from 11am, serving real ale along with continental lagers and local ciders as well as home cooked food including steaks, burgers and fish.
Former landlord Pat stopped trading on Friday 30th December and said on a Facebook statement that he wished Colin and his team good luck.
Owner in 1891: Mrs S.A. Ayliffe (leased to Clissold & Son, Nailsworth Brewery)
Rateable value in 1891: £13.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Nailsworth Brewery
Rateable value in 1903: £13.15s.0d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Kings Head include:
1856 J. Newth
1891,1895 Ezra Denley
1902,1906 George Evans Price
1919 Mrs Catherine Mee
1925,1939 William Frederick Mee.
1978 Nigel and Marie Jones
1979 Marie Jones and Maurice Ball
1998,1999 Neil and Wendy Ashcroft
2000 Gary Ricketts
2023 Colin Cosimni and his son Moreno