Godsell & Sons Trade Mark and motto. c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
Principal feature is the trade mark of a hand with thumb and 3 finger grip on a Malt or Maltser's shovel.
The Labore et Honore motto loosely translates to "Honest Work" or more appropriately "Honestly made",
although read as written it is Even honour exists, or is, by labour

G&S Enamel Sign - original artwork by NRD Godsell c2008


A reproduction of the original enamel advertising signs - several of these have survived. Artistic license results in the brewery's address of Salmon Springs depicted as a leaping salmon and a rather picturesque waterfall - both far from reality. The date of establishment, given as 1850, is somewhat stretching the truth, as Thomas Godsell (founder) was officially a Mealman according to the 1851 census. Further, it didn't become & Sons until 1876 when Thomas' sons George, James, Thomas H and Edward were introduced into the business. 
The 1876 entry in Morris & Co's (Trade & Profession) Directory reads: Godsell Thomas, ale and porter brewer, maltster and miller, Salmon's Spring brewery.
His eldest son Robert Thomas Pool Godsell had worked with his father, but predeceased both his father (who died in 1885) and registration of the company in 1905. At the time of becoming a Limited Company the brewery's address became Salmon Springs.

An actual sign on display (recommended viewing) is the one in the Billiards Room of the Old Spot Inn at Dursley - see below



A more modern looking cast plaque set in the wall of one of the surviving brewery buildings, indicates a construction date of 1903. This was part of the major development of the Godsell & Sons brewery at the Salmon Springs site.

Moulded glass screw-top bottles carrying the brewers name and trade mark.


Site of the Brewery

The site of the old brewery, formerly the site of Salmon's Mill, is now known as the Salmon Springs Trading Estate, situated approx 1/2 mile north of Stroud on the A46. 

Google Maps Satellite view of Salmon Springs Trading Estate

Here's how it could be found circa 1909...

On the high road from Stroud to Painswick, and about half a mile from the former town, on turning a bend in the road, the eye is struck with an imposing block of buildings, out of which rises a peculiar shaped massive round tower, the whole standing out in picturesque relief against a back ground of soft green slopes and a clear blue sky. This is Godsell and Sons' widely known brewery, with its congeries of stores, cellars, warehouses, malthouses and offices.

A map of that period showing position of the Spring, the waters of which were reputedly used

And this is how it appeared:-

Clipped words in the caption are Godsell, selection & survived.


Salmon's Mill was recorded 1439 as part of the Manor of Painswick owned by William Bliss. In 1496 the mill was rented and named as Blysses also known as Salmonys. In the 16th & 17th centuries it was owned and worked by the Fletcher family as a Fulling mill to thicken cloth by cleansing, shrinking and thickening with heat, pressure and moisture. Edmund Fletcher was the first developer of the site when he rebuilt (in 1593) and extended (in 1607) the timber-framed mill house, in stone.

In the 18th century the site under Clothier John Pinfold contained mills for both fulling and corn, together with a dyehouse by 1786. A 1798 schedule of the site lists fulling mills, grist (flour) mills, three stocks and one gig mill (for raising the nap on a woollen cloth), one pair of French stones, one pair of Welch stones, a mill house and a dye house.

William Drew was working the corn mill in 1820, and a malthouse was recorded on site in 1822. By 1837 the site contained the Salmons Spring Brewery and had been acquired by Nathaniel Samuel Marling who bought many mills in the Stroud area. The Marling family worked several as Cloth mills, but a few were leased to others; notably Salmon's Mill and the brewery to Thomas Godsell in 1855. Thomas Godsell (born around 1818 at Eglantine Place, Wotton under Edge)  is recorded as living at The New Inn, Stonehouse in 1851 and his occupation was given as Mealman - grain seller, whereas 10 years earlier he was living in Stonehouse Street, Stroud and recorded as being a baker. By 1861 Thomas Godsell and family had taken-up residence in the Mill House and gave his occupation Miller and Brewer. The same occupation was recorded for his eldest son Thomas P Godsell whose name was given as Robert P in 1851 and just Pool in 1841 when 4 months old.

Having introduced his sons George, James, Thomas H and Edward into the business in 1876, Thomas died in 1885. Twenty years later the sons registered the Company as Godsell & Sons Ltd. The firm was taken over by the Stroud Brewery Co. in 1928. The mill was demolished and replaced by a brick beer-bottling factory in 1934.  Malting ceased in 1967 and the beer-bottling plant closed two years later.  Whitbreads Ltd., who had acquired the Stroud Brewery Co., then used it as a storage depot for some years.

So what has survived...

...actually quite a lot:-

 c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
Maltings building - bordering the A46 on the west side of site

 c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
Storehouse to the south-east of the site

 c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
South end of the 19th century Brewery Offices building at the southern tip of the site

 c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
Door of the Office building - was this the front or back door?

 c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
North end of Offices building with above door just discernible
Left is a corner of Salmon's Mill house? - see below

 c Steward Cousin Photography 2008
Salmon's Mill house? Rebuilt in stone by the (owner) Edmund Fletcher in 1593 and added to in 1607
Three families were living here in 1861, those of: Wool Weaver James Rowles;
Maltser Thomas Longford; Miller and Brewer Thomas Godsell.



Godsell Public Houses - fixtures & fittings

The following photos are of the various fixtures and fittings that adorned Godsell public houses; these have been gathered over many years from various websites, and are hereby acknowledged with thanks. Regretfully, I didn't note where each one came from, but the principle websites were:-

The enamel sign

Preserved in the Billiards Room of the
Old Spot Inn at Dursley: www.oldspotinn.co.uk

No date has been found for when these were introduced. However, the design suggests 1890 to 1910 - same timescale as the major expansion of the business. Another sign has recently been discovered on display in The Museum in the Park, Stroud.

The Greyhound in Stroud - is this authentic?

The Seymour, Gloucester - cast wall insert with G & S lettering

The Seymour, Gloucester - cast wall insert with trade mark and motto

The Wellington Arms Gloucester - etched glass window including pub name

The Wellington Arms Gloucester - another etched glass window.
What's depicted in the lower portion requires investigation


A note on family history

We've yet to establish a precise link with this line of Godsells. Our best estimate is that there's potential for a linkage around our ancestor John, christened April 1752, he married Mary Taylor in June 1773 and they had a son John, christened in 1774. (He was the older brother to our ancestor William.) He married an Ann in 1795 and (possibly) could be Thomas the brewer's grandfather. John and Ann had a son Thomas, christened 1796, who married an Ann born 1792. (Our Godsell Relatives Chart shows the line thus far.) These are the likely parents of Thomas the brewer who was born around 1818 according to the 1851 census; 1841 census entry has him as being born around 1821. Thomas the brewer married Mary who was the same age as him and they are shown as living in Stonehouse Street in 1841 with their son (Robert Thomas) Pool Godsell aged 4 months.

Page under construction - last updated: 15:38 27th July 2010 by Nigel Godsell