During the 17th century the inn was known as the Lamb and then the King and Queen before becoming the Ormonds Head in honour of James Butler, the seventh Duke of Ormond. The original twin gabled  facade of the Ormonds Head was reconstructed in 1902, which might explain the increase in rateable value.

The landlord at that time, Frank Soper, had a nasty horse riding accident at the Hare and Hounds Hotel in Westonbirt: The Wiltshire and Gloucestershire Standard reported on 8th March 1902: “An unfortunate accident happened to Mr Soper, landlord of the Ormonds Head Hotel, as he was returning from the meet at Worcester Lodge. He called at the Hare and Hounds Hotel with a friend on their way home, and it appears that Mr Soper was mounting his horse, when his friend touched it with his whip in fun. The animal at once reared and threw Mr Soper to the ground, falling on top of him and completely stunning him. Mr Soper was at once conveyed home and attended by Dr Wickham. He lies in a critical condition.”

During the Second World War part of the building served as the orderly room for American troops stationed in the town.

From 1987 to 1997 the premises was known as the Gentle Gardener. It was listed in the 1985 CAMRA Good Beer Guide as a pub but later became an off licence. It eventually closed altogether. There were plans to convert the building into a block of executive flats but, luckily, Lyn (Lyndon) and Judy Parry Booth bought the premises to keep it as a going concern. The Ormonds Head now has a function room that can cater for 100 people and 14 en suite letting rooms.

In March 1985 the Gentle Gardener just missed out on being chosen the Egon Ronay 1985 Pub of the Year, the honour going to the Royal Oak in Yattendon. The presentations were made at the plush Inn on the Park Hotel in London where the owners Warren and Judy Knock attended. The Egon Ronay guide described the Gentle Gardener as a ‘handsome old coaching inn, where super lunchtime snacks can be enjoyed in the comfortable bar or out in the courtyard. Filled rolls and ploughman’s platters are popular quick bites, or you could start with flavoursome celeriac soup and go on to duck pancake with cheese and apple, or splendid roulade.’ One of Mrs Knock’s specialities, Liver Italian Style, was prepared by Inn on the Park staff at the awards event and served to some of the appreciative diners at the ceremony. Those who sampled the liver included top wine and food writers and Mrs. Egon Ronay.

The pub has now rebranded itself as the Ormond.


Licensing Details:

Owner in 1891: Nailsworth Brewery

Rateable value in 1891: £25.10s.0d.

Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse

Owner in 1903: Nailsworth Brewery

Rateable value in 1903: £32.0s.0d.

Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse

Closing time in 1903: 11pm

Landlords at the Ormonds Head Inn include:

1830 Lydia Ashbee

1844,1856 Joseph Maggs

1885 Joseph Clark

1891 William Dyke

1903 Frank Butler Soper

1906 Richard Rich

1913 Edgar Rawlings

1919,1927 Harry Miller

1985 Warren & Judy Knock (Gentle Gardener)

1996,1999 Lyndon ‘Lyn’and Judy Parry Booth (from Royal Oak)

2004 Terry Robertson

2005 Iain and Adrienne Bailey

Share this Page: