There has been a public house of sorts on this, and /or, adjacent sites for nearly
170 years. The address on Shim Lane was attributed to the inn ‘The Spotted Horse’,
as far back as 1842. The first mention of the name of the pub only occurs on record,
when it has displayed outside, a pub sign.
A license to sell beer under the “William IV “ Act, was granted as early as 1832
to a Mr. William Dart for an address in Shim Lane, Bedminster. It can be assumed
that this was the same building, but without a pub sign. Several licenses to the
same address were granted;
1832-1833: William Dart
1833-1838: P. Beacham
1839-1842: Henry Wakefield / John Sampson
Henry Wakefield moved to a premises at an address in Mill Lane & Providence Place,
taking his license with him, but this time displaying The Spotted Horse pub sign.
The previous address continued to have a William IV license in the name of John Sampson.
In 1848, Sampson upgraded the Shim Lane site and displayed a pub sign, also calling
it The Spotted Horse. It is very possible that this original site had always been
known by word of mouth as the Spotted Horse, prior to Henry Wakefield moving. It
is likely that he would try to take his customers from one place to the other, and
to keep familiarity, kept the same name.
The name of the pub at this time is unique to Bristol. Considering the number of
pubs in the City, it suggests that it was so called, (by locals of the area) because
a particular farmer may have had a spotted horse. Something not commonly seen, even
in those days of horse power, and extremely rare today.
In 1700 Bristol had a recorded number of 240 Alehouses, which equalled one to every
20 families. By 1712 it was 253, and by 1735 it had risen to 5,701, one per 16 households.
By 1842 that figure was upwards of 8,000 and these two are the only so named (the
Spotted Horse), to this date.
1848-1872: John Sampson at The Spotted Horse, Shim Lane.
It seemed that up to now the license holder, had also been the owner. But this extant
reference of Indenture (deed or contract), supplied by former owners Courage Ltd
(as their earliest actual sale record), shows that John Latham was owner, and that
John Sampson and his predecessors were tenants, paying rent.
Indenture 26th March 1873: Between John Latham Press, gentleman of Bristol and Walter
Gardiner, gentleman of Bristol. All that messuages and public house known as the
Spotted Horse, situated at the corner of West Street and Albert Road- Messuage (*)and
public house only £200. (*) Messuage means a dwelling house, together with it’s outbuildings,
curtilage (yard), and the adjacent land appropriated to its use.
1873-1876: J.H. Williams at The Spotted Horse, Shim Lane.
Shim Lane became Sheene Lane and then Sheene Road. The word ‘Shim’ relates to a worker
of wood, a scraper or polisher of wood, to put on a sheen. It is likely such a worker
or site of woodworking occurred in the lane.
1876-1879: Isaac Aaron Jones, at The Spotted Horse (now at Sheene Lane).
Isaac Aaron Jones, served an apprenticeship as a cooper (1857) on leaving school,
and it was assumed that he went to sea to ply his trade as barrel maker. He married
Sarah Anne Morgan (1870) and they had three children; Jim, Lillian and Mary Ann (known
as Polly) The Morgan’s owned a lot of property in the Bedminster and Redcliffe areas.
Upon his death in 1878, Sarah had to struggle to retain the pub as women publicans
were frowned on at this time. She prevailed, though it took nearly two years to have
the pub put into her own name.
1880-1889: Sarah Ann Jones, at The Spotted Horse, corner of West St and Sheene Lane
& Albert Rd.
The painting of the Spotted Horse shown at the beginning, was commissioned by Sarah
during her tenure, well sort of!
It seems that sometime around 1884 she provided accommodation for a travelling German
artist, who consequently couldn’t pay his bill. She demanded a watercolour painting
of the pub as payment. The picture is not signed or dated unfortunately but this
story is retold by a Mrs.Trickey of Ashton (in the Malago, historical magazine),
who was the granddaughter of Sarah Jones.
It seems she was pleased with the result, as she touted him around to other licensees
to paint their pubs as well.
The Cross Hands at Bedminster Down was definitely among them as it has been displayed
in exhibits by the Malago Society (Mr Anton Bantock).
Sarah moved out of the pub in 1889, when the pub was demolished, to a cottage on
the adjacent corner of Kent St and West St. She became a much respected figure in
the area, until her death in 1923 aged 83.
The Albert Hotel was built in it’s place by it’s new owners;
Indenture 27th August 1888: Maurice Reynolds, Brewer in possession having purchased
property from Walter Edwin Gardiner and Sarah Gardiner for £1000, including all that
piece of land situate at the corner of West Street and Sheene Road, formerly Sheene
Lane and Albert Road.
The Albert was built in circa 1889 as The Albert Hotel, and must have been almost
next door or on the same site as the Spotted Horse, because by now it’s address was
Sheene Lane and Albert Road. Albert Road was probably a continuation of Sheene Lane,
which was bisected by West Street.
The cottages and houses opposite the pub (now in Diamond St and British Rd, formerly
Victoria St) are named as the road, Albert Villas.
Albert Place is a lane that runs to the side of Albert Cottage built in 1846.
This is probably also why the pub was named The Albert, though an older pub called
the Albert Inn is listed in Whitehouse St, Bedminster, and could have transferred
the name to the present site.
Most of the houses in this part of the Bedminster area of Bristol were built to accommodate
the workforce of WD & HO Wills, (tobacco manufacturers) in East Street, and are made
of the same type of brick, from the Malago and Bedminster brick works.
1889-1890: Mark Gould at The Spotted Horse, Sheene Lane
1890-1897: Mark Gould at The Albert Hotel, 80 Albert Rd & Sheene Lane.
1897-1899: Mrs. Green at The Albert Hotel, 80 Albert Rd & Sheene Lane.
Somewhere between 1888 and 1899 (no record of sale) the Spotted Horse was acquired
by a partnership, because it was sold in an Indenture in 1899.
Indenture 11.12.1899: “All that messuage (*) or public house known as the Spotted
Horse, situated at the corner of West Street and Albert road, between Fenwick Richards,
Tobacco Manufacturer and Henry Napier Abbott and the Bristol United Breweries. Agreement
of sale for the sum of £265. Mr W. Marlin (Tenant).
1899-1900: Mr. W. Marlin at The Albert Hotel, now 1 West Street.
1900-1920: Mrs. Louisa Archard at The Albert Hotel, 1 West St.
1921-1938: Mrs. Francis Bolt at The Albert Hotel, 1 West St.
1939-1944: Frederick Dale Stephens at The Albert Hotel, 1 West St.
1944- 1963: Stanley Ivor Jones at The Albert Hotel, 1 West St.
In 1956 Bristol United Breweries Ltd merged with Bristol Breweries, Georges & Co
In turn Georges & Co Ltd. sold the Albert Hotel to Courage, Barclay & Simonds Ltd
for the sum of £8,950 on the 1st September 1962. This was part of Courage’s take
over of Georges as a whole.
1963-1965: Brian John Payne and Sandra Payne at The Albert Hotel, 1 West St.
1965-1978: Kenneth Pearce and Millicent O. Pearce at The Albert Hotel, 1 West St.
1978-1979: Robert Leslie Duggan and Patricia McCleod at The Albert Hotel, 1 West
1979-1986: Lawrence Edward Griffiths and Ian Richard Storror at The Albert Hotel
(‘till ’84) then The Albert Inn, 1 West St.
1986- 2005: Ian Richard Storror at The Albert Inn, 1 West St.
In the period that I have been licensee of the Albert Hotel and Inn, the ownership
has changed a lot more rapidly than it’s licensee!
Originally when I came in, it was Courage Ltd (until 1991), then Grand Metropolitan/Courage
(GM /C) until 1994 which then became Inntrepreneur owned jointly by GM / C.
1995 Inntrepreneur Pub Co was then launched as a separate company and took ownership,
but not for long !
28th May 1996: Transferred pub to Spring Inns, but still a part of Inntrepreneur,
March 1997: Transferred to the 1406 Pub Co Ltd as a wheeze!!
Described to me by sources close to the higher up’s at Inntrepreneur thus;
“Someone had heard that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was planning to increase
stamp duty in his budget on sale and transfer of property. So the thinking was, to
switch it quickly to avoid paying extra duty”. Of course the Chancellor did no such
March 1998: Pub ownership now changes to the Grand Pub Co Ltd as Grand Metropolitan
and Inntrepreneur who are supposed to be separate companies are bought by the institution
known as Nomura International Bank PLC. This means they also acquire the Pheonix
Pub Co Ltd and Chef and Brewer, further subsidiaries of Inntrepreneur.
June 1998: Nomura decide to amalgamate all subsidiaries under Inntrepreneur Supplyline
Ltd and the Albert follows the paper trail.
October 1999: The Albert Inn is sold to Pennant Inns This represents 8 changes of
ownership in 10 years.
November 2002: Find out that Atlasway 4 Ltd is actual owner, not Pennant Inns who
it appears were acting as a management agent for Atlasway Ltd.
July 2003: Discover that Atlasway Ltd are actually a property developer group which
owns 70+ pubs and is based in London. Owners Jacob and Richard Schreiber (father
owned Schreiber Kitchens), family of Hasidic Orthodox Jews. They are very difficult
to communicate with because of their religious beliefs. They demand the Licensee
leaves in order to turn building into 6-8 apartments, but only offer negligible amount,
equivalent to rateable value.
October 2004: Licensee Ian Storror enters into litigation to stay at the pub,and
for the premises to be brought up to safe trading and living standards, or receive
Loses case in May 2005 and is forced to leave by end of August 2005.
Whilst case is under litigation Atlasway, sells all its pubs (apart from the Albert
and two others also in litigation) for £71M.
Jan 2006: Pub remains unsold for a year, then sold to another private owner who sits
on the premises for a further year unused, before again selling on to current owners
who refurbished the property in order to let the flats and re-open the premises as
a pub again.
Sept 2008 to present (2012): Pub re-opens and still is today though has been closed
temporarily for two periods (3 months and 6 months) in the interim by the police
for licensing breaches.
CENSUS 1841. Henry Wakefield 30, publican, born
in county Ann Wakefield 30, born in county Julia Tinkler 5, not born in county Henry
Cole 30, not born in county
CENSUS 1851. John Sampson 40, head married, retailer of
beer, Somerset Shepton Mallet Mary Sampson 41, wife married, Bedminster Bristol Henry
Sampson 14, son scholar, Bedminster Bristol John Sampson 13, son scholar, Bedminster
Bristol Mary Ann Sampson 9, daughter scholar, Bedminster Bristol George Sampson 7,
son scholar Bedminster Bristol
CENSUS 1861. John Sampson 50, head married, accountant,
Somerset Shepton Mallet Rachel Sampson 37, wife married, Bedminster John Sampson 22,
son unmarried, smith’s labourer, Bedminster George Sampson 16, son unmarried, blacksmith,
CENSUS 1871. John Sampson 60, head married, beer retailer, Somerset Shepton
Mallet Rachel Sampsom 44, wife married, beer retailer’s wife, Gloucestershire Hanham
1881. Sarah A. Jones 42, head widow, beer retailer, Bedminster Isaac J. Jones 6, son
scholar, Bedminster Elizabeth A. Jones 4, daughter scholar, Bedminster Mary A. Jones
3, daughter scholar, Bedminster Elizabeth Jones 72, mother in law widow, Bishopsworth Mary
A. Jones 52, visitor unmarried, cook, Bedminster Mary A. Edworthy 15, servant, Bedminster
1891. Mark Gould 43, head married, publican, Midsummer Somerset Emma Gould 45, wife
married, Dunkerton near Bath Luccetta Adams 35, barmaid single, Kilmerston Somerset
1901. Loisa Archard 58, head widow, licensed victualler, London Kensington Frances
Dennis 22, servant single, barmaid and domestic worker, Bristol Montpelier
1911. Louisa Archard 69, head widow, licensee, London Smithfield Benjamin Bolt 40,
boarder married, hotel manager, Bedminster Bristol Frances Bolt 34, boarder married,
hotel manageress, Bedminster Bristol Lilian Bolt 3, boarder, Bedminster Bristol
SPOTTED HORSE / ALBERT HOTEL Sheene Lane / West Street
Spotted Horse 1832 to 1833.
William Dart 1833 to 1838. Philip Beacham 1839 to 1842. Henry Wakefield 1848 - 72. John
Sampson 1873 to 1876. J. H. Williams 1876 to 1879. Isaac Aaron Jones 1880 to 1889. Sarah
Ann Jones 1889 to 1890. Mark Gould
Albert Hotel (Albert inn from 1984) 1890 to 1897.
Mark Gould 1897 to 1899. Mrs. Green 1899 to 1900. Mr. W. Marlin 1900 to 1920. Louisa
Archard 1921 to 1938. Frances Bolt 1939 to 1944. Frederick Dale Stephens 1944 to
1963. Stanley Ivor Jones 1963 to 1965. Brian John Payne and Sandra Payne 1965 to 1978.
Kenneth Pearce and Millicent O. Pearce 1978 to 1979. Robert Leslie Duggan and Patricia
McCleod 1979 to 1986. Lawrence Edward Griffiths and Ian Richard Storror 1986 to 2005.
Ian Richard Storror
Information on this page was kindly provided by Ian Storror
This appears to have been painted during the period when Isaac and Sarah Ann Jones
were at the Spotted Horse ... 1876 - 1889
HISTORY OF THE ALBERT INN, 1832 - 2012 BY IAN STORROR Ian researched the history of
the Albert Inn during his time as landlord 1979 to 2005.