Join Haunted Discoveries for a Ghost Hunt and Paranormal Investigation along with a 2 course meal at the intriguing and historic Royal William in Cranham , Gloucester UK
You can choose from any one of the two (2) Nights we have available or why not attend both?
We are there on Friday 5th July 2019 and Saturday 6th July 2019
Information and Pricing at the Bottom of page.
Royal William Cranham Gloucester History
So what do we know so far. The location occupier has been very helpful and is supplying some information on the history gathered to date. And there is a lot! The pub hasn’t always been known as the Royal William.
In 1974 Whitbread published a book called 'Inn and around’, a guide to 250 favourite Whitbread pubs. At that time the Royal William was a ‘Trophy Tavern’. The Royal William Hotel was described on page 146:
“Two hundred years ago you would have been considered very suspect if you were a regular at the Royal William. A plaque hanging in the pub records that it was frequented by "charcoal burners, gypsies, freebooters, smugglers and others of doubtful calling”. (At that time it was known as the Pound of Candles)
The name was changed to “The Henry VIIIth” as a tribute to the King visiting the area with Ann Boleyn while there was an epidemic in London in 1535. He is believed to have visited Prinknash Abbey in July and hunted in The Pope’s wood which is part of the wooded area next to the pub.
The Inn managed to survive the Civil War from 1642-8 with Prince Rupert who was Commander in Chief to King Charles lodged at Prinknash with the Bridgman family.
In 1830 to celebrate the accession of William IV the pub was renamed as the Royal William after the King took a personal interest in the Beer Act of 1830 which abolished the beer tax and extended the opening times of licensed public houses.
Thomas Sadler became the owner in 1821 when his mother Mary Nee Gastrell surrendered her copy-hold. 27 years later the Inn was acquired by his nephew William Sadler Hall who also came to own seven other public houses in Gloucestershire, all the pubs were supplied with beer from his own brewery. During the 1870's Hall was charging per bottle 3s 6d for whiskey, 3s 4d for rum and 2s 8d for gin. A dinner for 18 guests cost £2 5s.
The Brewery was where the Cranham Suite is today and the Malthouse’s were situated where the small carpark is opposite the front of the pub. This area extended back into where the wooded area is now. There used to be stables underneath that contained horses to help carry the supplies to and from the pub.
In 1904 William Sadler Hall decided to retire and sell the pub to the Godsell’s Brewery.
Thomas Godsell’s grandmother had previously brewed in a barn opposite the pub and this inspired him to open his own brewery.
In 1907 Thomas and Edith Overs had taken over the tenancy of the pub. Tom was a well-respected man and genial host. He moved his family into the hotel as it was known at the time and worked tirelessly to build the reputation of the establishment and worked to promote the annual dinner and church parade.
The Cranham Feast is one of Gloucestershire’s oldest customs which is believed to have started in medieval times. The Royal William hosted the dinner in 1857 for the feast with Mr Jones of Witely Court attending and music being played by a band.
In 1907 there were issues with people from other local villages such as Sheepscombe, Brockworth and Upton St Leonards together with the local Gypsies gate crashing the proceedings ending with a free fight. It was decided that the Royal William would be closed in the afternoon of the feast and children’s games would be held instead. These were so popular that they are still included in today’s feast.
The feast was doing very well with the dinner on the Monday at the Royal William with the new proprietor of the pub Mr Tom Overs who was also the Cranham Feast secretary. The Monday March started at the pub through to Buckholt, along to the Sanatorium and through to the Back Horse before returning to the Inn for dinner.
The Funfair was added to the Feast and was cited in the filed adjacent to the Royal William on the Painswick side. This area was levelled so the waltzers could be placed in the area. This was later moved to the other side of the Inn known as the ‘Green’, this was also the place where the deer was roasted. There were some stalls with red and white canvas awnings lining the road from the Royal William to the Portway. Some stalls sold sweets such as humbugs, traffic lights and barley sugar sticks, other stalls sold toys, sawdust filled balls attached to elastic, and flame birds which made a noise as you whirled them around. A free lunch was given to the men of the village, which was always boiled beef and swede.
There was a 13-year gap during the Second World War but the feast was revived in 1951 and the Deer Roasters meetings were again held at the Royal William where what is now the Cranham Suite was used.
The feast began getting bigger and bigger and in 1952 over 10,000 people attended the weekend. Unfortunately, due to safety concerns in 1961 the feast moved to the field opposite the pub belonging to Mr Jim Drake. It continued to be a success there and eventually moved to the other side of the village where it continues today.
Thomas Overs and his family had done a wonderful job on making the Royal William one of the go to destinations in the area and had worked hard to make sure the annual dinner was always a success. Unfortunately, in 1927 at the age of 60 he had a heart attack at the hotel which he wouldn't survive. This was a great loss to the community and the pub where he had done so much to make it a success.
His son in law Sydney Vickeridge took over the running of the pub after Thomas died. He carried on what Thomas had started and maintained the Cranham Feast. He also worked hard to clean up the litter problem in the Cranham Woods and was part of the group that got the council to make a foot path for the pedestrians using the Stroud to Cheltenham route. He worked tirelessly to ensure what Thomas had started was carried on at the Royal William. He died at the age of 60 after suffering with heart trouble.
Stroud Brewery which owned the site was sold to Whitbread in 1963. It was in the 60's and 70's that the Royal William became well known for its dinner dances taking place on a Friday and Saturday in the Cranham Suite. Everything from Elvis to local acts came along to entertain and make the pub the go to place for entertainment at the weekend!
In November 1985 Whitbread spent £70,000 refurbishing the pub to launch it as the first Brewers Fayre in Gloucestershire. It introduced a electronic tills where customers would order at the bar and a ticket would be printed in the kitchen. Its tag line was “Waitress service without the wait”.
The menu was extensive with potted shrimps, prawn cocktail, duckling and grilled Dover sole on it. The concept worked and the pub continued to be a Brewers Fayre until Whitbread sold the pub to Mitchells and Butlers in 2007. The pub was now available for a private lease for the first time in a long, long time. The Little Cotswold Pub Company was formed by Chris, Tina and Tony and their first task was to change the identity of the Royal William back to an individual pub instead of a chain pub.
They spent £250,000 refurbishing and renovating the building and turning it back into a country pub. Over a 5-week period the pub was transformed and started serving fresh food using local suppliers and bringing a new concept to the area by having hot rocks on the menu. Steaks and exotic meats are served on volcanic rocks which are kept in a special oven at 430 degrees Celsius; the customer is then able to cook their own meat the way they like at the table. The pub has become a destination pub again with people travelling for miles to eat and drink there. The Cranham Suite was also completely refurbed installing a new bay window, carpet and decorating the bar and function room in 2015 giving the pub an amazing venue for weddings and parties. The patio area and toilets were also refurbished in the same year. The pub had now been completely transformed from the chain pub it had been for so long.
In August 2017 the pub held its first ever Beer festival raising funds for Sue Ryder with real ales and ciders available and Tribute acts performing throughout the day. The festival was a great success really putting the pub on the map after it appeared in the Citizen and BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
In October 2017 the pub was officially declared Haunted after an investigation carried out by Gloucester Paranormal Investigation Services carried out an overnight investigation of the pub where the team found evidence to back up the claims from staff about paranormal activity taking place at the pub over the years.
January 2018 sees Chris, Tony and Tina celebrating 10 years running the Royal William with a 10th birthday party in January. In February the pub will be hosting its first ever Haunted Dinner with GPIS and there will also be a 2-day Beer Festival starting on Saturday 18th August in the Paddock where the Cranham Feast was held up to the 1960s. The Royal William is once again a destination pub where people come to eat and drink as well as to be entertained.
It is said from reports that there is a child in the restaurant who interacts with dolls and people singing. There is also 2 landlords that move around in the Cranham suite and are known to use K2 meters and rem-pods to communicate. Every so often there is said to be a grumpy man who comes out of the store cupboard and begins acting up. There is also been a shadow figure recorded going across the bay windows in the Cranham suite that is the height of a child. Orbs, noises and people being touched are regular occurrences.
Egg and Chips,
and chips with Peas,
Cannelloni with Garlic Bread,
and Mash with Gravy and Peas.
Home-made Chocolate Brownie with chocolate sauce
- Two (2) Course Meal followed by History talk, Mini Workshop and Ghost Hunt - Paranormal Investigation
- Chance to be part of and work with an experienced paranormal team
- Hear the personal accounts and history first hand
- Use and experience the use of scientific equipment. For e.g K2's (Emf Meters) Rem Pods, Temperature Guns, EVP, Alice Trans communication also Victorian methods - Table Work, Ouija, Pendulums, Dowsing and more
- Tea, Coffee, Served through out the night
Event Date and Information
- There are 2 nights available either Friday 5th July 2019 or Saturday 6th July 2019
- Price £45.00 Which includes the Ghost Hunt and 2 Course Meal. (If you book by messaging our FaceBook page tickets are £40 The Link to Our Page is Here)
- Event times | Meal Time 20:30
- History/Workshop/Ghost Hunt | 21:30 - 03:00
- Arrival times | From 20.00pm
Toilets: There are toilets on-site
Alcohol Allowance: Limited
All tickets are bound by our Terms & Conditions and there is no Travel or sleeping arrangements supplied