Built in 1833, the Sub rooms immediately offered Stroud a large assembly room on the first floor for balls, lectures and political meetings and later, theatrical performances.
On the floor below there was a library and reading room, which later became a social club known as the Stroud Club.
History has it that one night, a drunken farmer set off home from the Swan Inn. At that time a series of scaffolds forming a ramp had been constructed to carry materials to the roof of the Subscription rooms, then being built. The farmer rode up the ramp to the top on his obedient horse. The realisation must have been quite a shock! The farmer survived but his poor creature fell and died!
The Subscription Rooms have seen quite a bit of action. After the Second World War, people gathered here for a three day party!
Did you know ........The Beatles played here in the 1960's !
And back in 1908, there were riots when locals took offence at the temperance movement holding a meeting to discuss a government bill which proposed to reduce public drinking houses!
Bought in 1960 by the Urban District Council, the building continues to be Stroud's most important and central venue for exhibitions and entertainment, as well as housing the towns Tourist Information Office.
Other meeting places sprang up in the 1800s, including the Victoria Rooms in King Street and The Temperance hall in Lansdown (now Lansdown Hall). From 1869, the Conservative Association held meetings and lectures at Badbrook Hall and later, at their new club in Rowcroft.
From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society