Originally numbered 88 but now 166 Southgate Street.

Once owned by the Brimscombe Brewery (Smith & Sons) it was subsequently sold to Georges Bristol Brewery. The Nelson Inn then passed into Courage Brewery ownership. In the 1990’s it was an Ushers (Pub Co) of Trowbridge tied house.

The Nelson has now been converted into apartments, but the ornate tiled exterior has been preserved.


The Citizen, 20th September 1968 – Firemen called to city inn: Clothing, an airing cupboard and a stairway, were severely damaged by fire early today, at the Nelson Inn, Southgate Street, Gloucester. Gloucester firemen were called to the public house to deal with the outbreak, which was on the first floor of the building. The fire was prevented from spreading to other parts of the house.

The Citizen, 26th May 1971 – Gloucester licensee fined: Gloucester licensee Mr Thomas McDonagh was fined a total of £6 by the City Magistrates yesterday for three offences connected with selling beer to 15-year-old boys. Mr McDonagh, of the Nelson Inn, Southgate Street, pleaded not guilty to three charges of selling beer to a person under 18 years, and two charges of allowing under 18-year-olds to drink beer on his premises.

A submission by Mr Keith Scott that there was no case to answer was dismissed and later magistrates found all three charges proved. Prosecuting, Mr David Gibbons said police officers went into the Nelson Inn and saw the youths drinking. The officers found that they were under age when they spoke to them.

The court heard Mr McDonagh told the police, “I can’t ask for everyone’s birth certificate.” He was fined £2 on each offence.

This advert was in the Citizen newspaper in May 1976. Note the mention of beer ‘straight from the old fashioned pumps.’ This was probably Courage Best Bitter.

How times have changed! This promotion from a May 1978 Disco included free cigarettes handed out between each record during the last hour of the show.

The Citizen, Tuesday 8th June 1982 (photo, above): Marker Stuart Robertson obviously found it thirsty work adding up the scores for regulars at the Nelson pub in Southgate Street when they began a sponsored 50 hour darts marathon to raise money for the South Atlantic Appeal Fund. From the left the players are Joe Dunleavy (landlord, Paul Dixon, Adam Robertson and Steve Coopey.

The Citizen, Wednesday 30th January 1985 – “I was wrong” plea: A Gloucester publican who pushed his wife down a flight of stairs jumped to the wrong conclusion, Gloucester Magistrates were told yesterday.

Joseph Dunleavy (48), of the Nelson Inn, Southgate Street, was fined £100 after pleading guilty to causing actual bodily harm to Honor Dunleavy in December. Inspector Leonard Taylor, prosecuting, said the defendant was asleep in bed when he was disturbed by Mrs Dunleavy and a lodger.

“The lodger had gone with Mrs Dunleavy to fetch some change for the bar. Unfortunately, when Mr Dunleavy awoke he saw the two together and grabbed his wife by the neck,” said Inspector Taylor. “The pair were separated but later on in the evening Mr Dunleavy pushed his wife 10 feet down the cellar steps.”

Mrs Dunleavy was knocked out by the fall and suffered bruising to the body and a fractured finger. The defendant, who was unrepresented in court said, “I jumped to the wrong conclusion – there had been one or two incidents before with my wife, which stood out in my mind.”

The Citizen, Friday 18th July 1985 – ‘Live Aid’ Concert gets another airing: David Bowie, Elton John, Paul Young and Sting will be appearing at a Gloucester pub on Sunday in a second dose of ‘Live Aid’. Landlady of the Nelson Inn, Mrs Honor Dunleavy, plans to show an edited recording of last Saturday’s mammoth star-studded Live Aid concert to raise even more cash for the charity.

The concert will begin on a video screen at 10am and the musical marathon, including performers in Philadelphia, will continue until 11pm. Mrs Dunleavy is planning to charge customers an extra 10 pence on every drink they buy and contribute 10 pence herself – this means that every drink bought during the event will mean a 20 pence boost to the starving children in Ethiopia.

There will be a barbeque in the yard behind the Southgate Street pub for much of the day, a jumble sale during the afternoon and an old piano which has been on the premises for many years will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The Citizen, Saturday 10th January 1987- Cheers! Leroy makes it a city first: The City’s first black landlord is pulling pints at the Nelson Inn in Southgate Street, Gloucester. Regulars at the pub were quick to tell Mr Leroy Nelson Smith (35), that he was the first black landlord in the City and no one was more surprised than him.

His wife Lyn explained: “We are both from Bristol and there are several black landlords there. It is our first public house and we are delighted with the response we are getting in Gloucester.”

Mr Smith was an electrician before he decided to try his hand behind the bar. His wife is more used to looking after the house – she was a housewife and has three children. Mrs Smith added: “We are getting a nice crowd of locals and are looking forward to a successful time here.”

Paul Gregory took over the running of the Nelson Inn in the summer of 1998. He told the ‘Citizen’ that he thought the pub had a resident ghost. He said that drinking glasses that he had put down for washing were mysteriously turned upside down over night, while on another occasion glasses were smashed in the middle of the night when the pub was empty.

The Citizen, 21st June 2002 – Super ska sounds inn store: Gloucester’s Nelson Inn will be jumping to the finest authentic ska sounds tonight as a preview of bigger things to come in the city. Local DJ and ska aficionado Buzz will be spinning the best tunes from Jamaica to the UK, taking in 2-Tone, Trojan, Bluebeat, Skinhead Reggae and Rock Steady sounds for a truly skanking great night at the Southgate Street venue.

The night is the first of a number across Gloucester, which are acting as tasters for a major ska festival due to take place for the first time at the Guildhall in October.

The Nelson Inn has distinctive green tiling. This image was taken in March 2013.

The Citizen, 14th May 2006 – Rocking for charity: A city pub rocked for a good cause over the weekend. The Nelson pub in Southgate Street hosted live local bands in aid of the Pied Piper appeal and Gloucestershire Royal Hospital’s special care baby unit. All the bands waived fees to help raise money for the two charities. The audience enjoyed six to eight bands each day with live music late into the night. There was also an auction on Sunday.

The Citizen, Thursday 12th November 2020 – Historic pub will be transformed into flats: A historic and ‘unprofitable’ Gloucester pub will disappear for good as it will be converted into flats. The Nelson Inn, in Southgate Street, will be transformed into three flats on the ground floor of the building near Gloucester Quays.

The former pub, which was built in the early 19th century, has been closed for some time and now bought by Clark Holdings who have been given permission by Gloucester City Council for the development. The development will see the internal bar area ripped out, with three one-bedroom flats set to replace it.

Kate Biggs, conservation officer at Gloucester City Council, said: “The Nelson is not a nationally designated listed building. It is however considered to be a locally listed non-designated heritage asset. This is due to the important Edwardian façade. In general terms the closure of the public house is regrettable, however should planning consent be agreed the proposed restoration of the tiled façade should be conditioned so that it can be considered an enhancement to the Southgate Street Conservation Scheme.”

Five flats already exist on the first and second floors of the building following earlier developments

Landlords include:

1820 (Nelson’s Head Inn)

1830 Joshua Thomas (Lord Nelson, Littleworth)

1856 Mrs J. Gainer (Lord Nelson Inn)

1859 Jane Gainer

1879 J.W. Preece

1885 John Henry Kilminster

1893 Mrs A. Davis

1902 Edward Sutton

1906 James Hogg

1907 Mrs A. Davis

1919 Daniel Cove (see Mount Pleasant Inn, Winchcomb Street, Cheltenham)

1927,1939 William A. Summerhill

1957 W.E. Williams

1976 Paul and Deanie

1982 Joe Dunleavy

1985 Honor Dunleavy

1987 Leroy Nelson Smith

1998 Paul Gregory

2002 Jamie Wier

2005 Roy Hill

200- Tony Searle and Natalie Jenkins

Share this Page: