The Victoria Inn was located near the bottom of Victoria Street on the sharp bend and almost opposite the Forge Hammer Inn. It was probably hard to find as it was situated behind a row of houses. Trade must have come from workers employed at the nearby Cinderford Iron Works.
The Victoria Inn was originally a ‘free house’, but it was bought for £350 in 1888 by Albert Wintle owner of Bill Mills at Weston under Penyard near Ross on Wye. The particulars of sale detailed an inn which contained a ‘bar, bar parlour, private sitting room, kitchen, three bedrooms, club room and cellar.’ Of interest is a declaration stating that the premises ‘was in good state but trade has declined’.
Ownership later passed to Wintle’s Forest Steam Brewery in Mitcheldean. In 1891 the Victoria was described as an alehouse that had an annual rateable value of £15.0s.0d. The Victoria Inn had closed by 1900. The license was relinquished in favour of the Railway Hotel.
The property is believed to have become the Victoria Temperance Hotel, a haven for tea drinkers and teetotallers. It is possible that the Alfred Dykin’s Commercial Temperance Hotel as listed in Victoria Street in a 1900 reference is the same property.
The ‘Forester’ newspaper reported in October 2009 that Alan Clarke, who ran the B&B in Victoria Street, had unearthed a doorway leading to a beer and cider cellar dating back to the 1850’s when he was digging up his garden to build a disabled suite. Inside the old cellar he found a vintage sign for the ‘Forge Hammer’, as well as the remains of a vintage car that Alan thought could date back to the 1930’s. He said, ’Our house used to be the Victoria Hotel which closed and the property divided into two about 40 years ago.” He added, ‘Apparently before it was the hotel it was a pub known as the Forge Hammer which is why the sign is down there. I think the Forge Hammer would have dated back to the end of the 18th century, but the property is older than that.’
Landlords at the Victoria Inn include:
1856 Mrs Elizabeth Cowmeadow
1863 Thomas Taylor
1879 Mrs Ann Tyler
1885 Stephen Yemm
1888 William Essex
1891 Elizabeth Burgham