There is a 13th century building in Church Street, almost opposite the old Kings Head, called the Old Victoria Inn. However, I have found no information about the licensed premises in any contemporary directories and it is not mentioned in either the 1891 or 1903 licensing books. In her book ‘Pubs of the Royal Forest of Dean’ (Logaston Press 2004), Heather Hurley suggests that this might have been the Bell Inn. She writes, “Beyond St. Ethelbert’s church, which mainly dates from the 14th century, is an attractive half-timbered called Ye Olde Victoria Inn, not now an but presumably the Bell of 1779.”
There is another property named Bell House a little further down Church Street on the same side of the road
Subject: Victoria Inn Littledean
Hi there – I used to live in the Old Victoria Inn, Littledean. I believe it was called the Bear Inn until 1889 or so when the infamous “Who killed the Bears” incident occurred – hence the name change when Queen Victoria was popular. Don’t know a lot more but hope this helps
Alan John Lander
The Old Victoria Inn was put on the market in October 2003 with an asking price of £250,000. The sale particulars detailed, – entrance porch, kitchen / dining area, lounge, master bedroom with en-suite shower room, two further double bedrooms, attic room, bathroom, large garden and double garage.
On a Saturday morning early in August 2007 a hit and run lorry driver caused serious damage to the 13th century building. A neighbour said that the incident happened about eight o’clock. “I heard a huge bang and looked out to see a lorry had hit the overhang while it was trying to pass another lorry. He then reversed away from the wall and drove off.” The incident exposed the original timbers that had not been seen in living memory. Listed building approval had to be obtained before the building was renovated. Richard Haines, of builders Haines & Son, said that: “we will start by taking out the old timbers, many of which are in a bad state. We have to find seasoned oak to repair the frame and then we will fill the spaces with plaster, just as it was done originally.”