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 top, 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 Ltd.
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 St.
1979-1986: Lawrence Edward Griffiths and Ian Richard Storror at The Albert Hotel (‘till 1984) 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, (I think)?
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 thing !!
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 proper compensation
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.
© Ian Storror
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
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
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, Bedminster
John Sampson 60, head married, beer retailer, Somerset Shepton Mallet
Rachel Sampsom 44, wife married, beer retailer’s wife, Gloucestershire Hanham
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
Mark Gould 43, head married, publican, Midsummer Somerset
Emma Gould 45, wife married, Dunkerton near Bath
Luccetta Adams 35, barmaid single, Kilmerston Somerset
Loisa Archard 58, head widow, licensed victualler, London Kensington
Frances Dennis 22, servant single, barmaid and domestic worker, Bristol Montpelier
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
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
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.
1963 to 1965. Brian John Payne & Sandra Payne
1965 to 1978. Kenneth Pearce and Millicent O. Pearce
1978 to 1979. Robert Leslie Duggan & Patricia McCleod
1979 to 1986. Lawrence Edward Griffiths & Ian Richard Storror
1986 to 2005. Ian Richard Storror
Information on this page was kindly provided by Ian Storror
BRISTOL’S LOST PUBS