Gloucester Journal: September 22nd, 1877 – We are requested to caution the public against a respectably dressed man who is going from house to house with a specimen of Brussels carpet falsely representing himself as staying at the Spread Eagle Hotel. His practice is further to produce some stuff which, he says, is water proofing, belonging to some Russian gentlemen who desire to sell it rather than pay the heavy percentage of taking it to Russia. The stuff is not waterproof and householders and servants will do well to be careful.

Gloucester Journal: February 2nd, 1878 – The Japanese Ambassador and suite visited Cardiff last week to inspect a new Japanese ironclad. In the journey down the party stayed the night at the Spread Eagle Hotel in Gloucester.

Gloucester Journal: September 17th, 1881 – The Little Western. This tiny craft which crossed the Atlantic and was recently exhibited at the Spread Eagle Hotel in this city, has arrived at Gloucester, Massachusetts, the place from which she started her perilous journey.

Gloucester Journal: February 1887 – Bicycle Club Ball: The second annual ball of the Gloucester Bicycle Club was held at the Spread Eagle Hotel on Wednesday, and was a great success, rather over 110 ladies and gentlemen being present. Mr Leche’s band attended. (Citizen 14th Feb, 1987)

A meeting at the Spread Eagle Hotel for GWR staff. (date unknown) Courtesy Rick Martin
Courtesy Steve Lawrey
Courtesy Michael Morris
Courtesy Steve Lawrey

Letter to the Citizen. Monday October 16th 1972: Sir – I wish to correct a statement made in the Citizen on September 26 to the effect that the Spread Eagle Hotel was once used as a labour exchange. This was not so, but he Northgate Mansions were used for this purpose for a number of years. My father was caretaker at the Mansions from approximately 1909-1936 and I understand that the Northgate Mansions were originally built and used as the Spread Eagle Hotel. W. Mullins, 1 Hillview Drive, Hucclecote.

The last pint was pulled at the Spread Eagle Hotel at the end of September 1972. An article about the Spread Eagle hotel appeared in the Citizen newspaper (Sept.26th 1972) and John Watts the last landlord said: “The Spread Eagle has had a strange history and the building was once used as an employment exchange. I think the whole of Gloucester will be sad when it closes.”  The Spread Eagle was built in 1770 and so it traded for just over 200 years. The hotel was a superb gothic styled red bricked building with arched decorative window surrounds. It was a very popular and comfortable pub. It claimed to have the largest dining room in the city. An advertisement at the time of Stanley Smith (c.1919) read: “we have wide experience in providing banquets and in catering for meetings of clubs and societies. Kindly allow us to cater for your next function. Prompt and personal attention will be given to your esteemed orders, and full satisfaction is guaranteed.”

Tesco purchased the site for future development.  The building caught fire on 20th December 1980 causing traffic chaos in the city centre. The charred hotel was eventually demolished in May 1981. A spokesman for Tesco’s said: “The building was in quite a dangerous condition that it had to be pulled down”. The site was boarded off. Mr David Evans from Gloucester City Council’s planning department said: “We have not been approached by the prospective owners of the site. But we would hope to get all parties together to discuss the development of the whole area.

The site of the Spread Eagle Hotel was sold for about £50,000 to Principality Holdings of Bristol on 12th June 1981. A City Planning Officer said that the City Council hoped that the site would be used for retailing a car parking as part of the comprehensive development of the city centre up to Kings Square. Outline planning permission for the site, formerly owned by Tesco, included a ground floor showroom with two floors of offices over, totalling 29,000 square feet.

Courtesy Steve Lawrey

Landlords at the Spread Eagle Hotel include:

1856,1859 William Holtham

1879,1885 Henry Charles Grogan

1893 Mrs M.J. Bramham

1902 Charles Bramham

1906 Mrs Mary Jane Bramham

1919 Stanley George Smith

1927,1939 Mrs Isabella Smith

1957 R.T. Cosgrove

1960-1972 John and Joan Watts – on closure moved to the Royal Hotel

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