The GW Hotel Swindon, across from the railway station and on the opposite corner to the Queen’s tap, is a pub that’s undergone a number of incarnations. As this history of the pub on the Arkell’s website tells us. More of that in a bit.

The GW Hotel Swindon

The Grade II listed, Great Western Hotel was first built as a pub back in 1869. Legend has it that the arrival of this pub thrilled the station porters as the Queen’s Tap pub (across the road to this day) were over pricing their beer at 2d a pint. And local competition was born!

From the Arkell’s website

Arkell’s originally purchased the land in 1869. On it they erected their first purpose-built pub called The Great Western Hotel. The hotel proved an instant success and they altered the taproom in the following year. And another year on saw the addition of stables. A large wing of bedrooms was added in 1904 and the Great Western remained a hotel until 1973. 

Rechristened The Noah’s Ark, it underwent conversion to a steakhouse and restaurant – a life it inhabited for the next decade. It then went back to being the Great Western. But a 1991 refit called for yet another identity and the pub re-emerged as the Flag and Whistle.

The turn of the millennium saw another major refit – then again in 2015 to coincide with the Swindon 175 celebrations. Thus the once famous name synonymous with Swindon returned. And the hotel re-opened as the Great Western, or GW as it‘s more commonly known as.

A note on the architecture

According to Mark Child (he of the Swindon Book ) Thomas Smith Landsown of Bath Road built The Great Western Hotel in the Gothic (in this case Early English) style.

1872 saw the addition of stabling with the original hotel building undergoing remodelling in 1876 and extending to the east in 1896.

The GW Hotel Swindon 1869

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