The impressive timber framed pub is located on Southgate Street opposite St Mary de Crypt Church. The building dates from dates from 1560 and was built as a merchant’s house. Robert Raikes, founder of the Sunday School movement published the Gloucester Journal newspaper there from 1758 and by 1772 all of his family has moved in.
The building continued to be used as a merchants house and shop long after the death of Robert Raikes and by 1975 it had been turned into the Golden Cross pub by Samuel Smith. Apparently the pub didn’t have a great reputation and in 2008, the pub reopened after a 2 year refurbishment costing £4.5 million.
The Exterior and Interior
The refurbishment returned the building to its original state and retains many original features. The shop front was removed and replaced with traditional looking wood framed walls. There are seven rooms in total with the bar occupying a central room the front rooms being more basic in appearance and the rear rooms being more cosy and more lavishly decorated.
Stepping into the pub is just like stepping back in time. The Samuel Smith Brewery has done an excellent job in restoring the building and it has the appearance of a newly built Tudor building. It is clear that no expense has been spared in every room. The basic room at the front contained huge wooden chairs and paintings of past kings and queens whilst the rear rooms have comfortable sofas and wood panelling. Throughout the pub are a mix of paintings, technical drawings of the building and a biography of Robert Raikes.
At the rear of the pub is a large courtyard where the first Sunday Schools were held. Part of the courtyard used to contain the disused Malt and Hops pub but this was demolished during the refurbishment.
As the pub is owned by Samuel Smith you can only find their beers here. Unfortunately there isn’t any real ale here. The Samuel Smith Old Brewery Bitter is only available from a keg.
More Photos of Robert Raikes’s House
Robert Raikes’s House
38 Southgate Street
Tel: 029 2039 1910
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