The History of Best Western The Gables
A special thank you to Ms Ann Riddiford of Thornbury for supplying the following information on the history of The Gables. If you have any further information we would love to hear from you, please email us or call our Marketing department on 0121 308 3751.
What originally stood on the site of The Gables is difficult to say. It has a small amount of cultivated land with it, suggesting some possible farming, although it would not have been a major working farm, it was more likely to have been the home of a gentleman.
There is also a strong possibility that it could have been an Inn. John Macadam, the renowned road builder and engineer, is known to have stayed at The Gables whilst work on the A38 road was being completed. This would have been in the early 1800s, although whether he was a paying guest at The Gables because it was an Inn, or whether he was a private guest of the owner is unknown.
Certainly by the late 1800s the property was known as ‘Falfield Villa’ and was occupied by a local farmer and his family in his retirement (Farmer Bennett from nearby Falfield Green Farm).
Other names connected with the property were:
- Mrs Bernice Isaac (retired farmer, early 1900s)
- Mr Barber (also farming connections 1920s)
- Mr Chambers (talented organist and music teacher)
- Mr Lane of Bodley Head Publishing, Bristol. (His son, Allen Lane, was the originator of the Penguin Books and was later given a knighthood)
- Mr Robert Lister of the Lister Engineering family of Dursley, Gloucestershire (1930s and 40s)
It was Mr Lister who had a good deal of money spent on the modernisation of the property, possibly it was he who changed the name to ‘The Gables’. The property was sold to a Mr Barratt in 1948 who did a small amount of farming and ran the property as a guest house for approximately twenty years.
In the 1970s the property was purchased by the owners of a Greek Restaurant from Bristol and in the 1990s local businessmen bought a nearby golf course and the hotel, and renamed it The Bristol Inn. During the following years the hotel was completely refurbished.
In April 2007 Michael Webb and family purchased the property and reverted back to the original name of The Gables. The Webb family also own the 4 star Moor Hall Hotel & Spa in Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, which boasts 82 bedrooms, 8 conference rooms and a state of the art Leisure Club and Spa, The George Hotel in Lichfield, Staffordshire, an 18th Century former coaching inn, plus Broads Travel Group which is based next door to The George on Bird Street and in Mere Green, Sutton Coldfield. At the heart of this privately owned group of companies is the philosophy of personal service and attention to detail which means always putting the customer first.