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Robert Raikes’s House, Gloucester

Posted on 23. Jan, 2011 by in Pubs

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Robert Raikes's House, Gloucester

Robert Raikes’ House is a Samuel Smith owned Gloucester pub located in a building that dates back to the 16th century.

Brief History

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.

The Beer

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

Venue Location

Robert Raikes’s House

38 Southgate Street



Tel: 029 2039 1910

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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3 Responses to “Robert Raikes’s House, Gloucester”

  1. yasminium 7 August 2011 at 9:06 am #

    VERY nice building but a total shame about the miserable, surly bar man who definitely didn’t graduate from the school of charm. We were enamoured by the building & though we’d have lunch therebut after having been served by this poor excuse for a bar man, we left. My advice: walk in, look around & walk out again. He was a total bar steward!!!

    • Mofree 24 August 2012 at 6:42 am #

      Visited Robert Raike’s yesterday with my son, beautiful building but have to agree with you about the barman.  No disabled sign for downstairs toilet.  He told me I should ask where the disabled toilet was-no need for sign! While we were there for one drink he had a huge row with two lovely girls concerning a meal order.  Called them liars.   It was all very embarrassing.   

  2. Dannuc 13 September 2011 at 12:24 pm #

    Tend to agree with yasminium, the building and furnishings are superb but
    the landlord (as I assume him to be) has a basic and outmoded approach
    to running a bar that leaves quite a bit to be desired.

    This and the occasionally slow food delivery are all that let a potentially wonderful pub down.

    The food is competitively priced, includes traditional British dishes
    with potatoes and veg alongside the usual pub food, and is consistently
    well prepared.

    A refreshingly unusual aspect is the total absence of any ‘global’
    brands in the bar (coke, guinness, heineken and the like), all rejected
    in favour of Samuel Smith’s retro-styled equivalents.

    There’s an excellent range of bottled and keg beers, although it’s a pity that Samuel Smith’s fine cask ales are not available.

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