As you read these words on your computer, just take a moment to consider centuries past with no computers, no televisions, no electricity......
.........what ever did people do?
Until the 1800s, social life in Stroud focused largely on the inns, of which there were 22 in the town by 1781. Inns were not just for drinking in, they were used for balls, concerts and assemblies and all manner of public and private meetings. Obviously there was a good deal more conversation, and an emphasis on games and self-made entertainment.
The George, which was the chief Inn of the town was also used as a magistrate's court and was the terminus for the London coaches. Located on the south side of the High Street, opposite the Shambles, the George reigned supreme until it moved to King Street in 1819, to accommodate shifts in the town's activity caused by the building of the new London and Bath roads.
|Both the George and the Swan are on record since 1654, although the Swan alone survives today. The original Swan, located in the High Street, was destroyed by fire but a new Inn of the same name opened in Union Street by 1822.|
Whilst many Inns closed by the 19th Century, the number of licensed premises in the parish certainly saw an increase and 92 were recorded in 1891. Many such premises were purpose built public houses commissioned by the Stroud Brewery. Three buildings of architectural note, designed for the Brewery and still in operation today are the Greyhound, the Clothiers Arms at Lodgemore (1909) and the Prince Albert Inn at Rodborough (1909).
From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society