All our bedrooms are named after people who are notable in the history of Parkend, or the pub itself.
Margaret Gunter holds a special place in the history of the Fountain Inn. She moved here, as Margaret Scott, when her parents took over as publicans in 1879. Her father died a few years later and, undoubtedly, she would have worked hard, helping her mother with jobs around the pub.
In 1887, Margaret married George Gunter and they took over as publicans soon after, inheriting the property when Margaret’s mother died in 1902.
Margaret died in 1934, having served as the landlady here for over 45 years. Upon her death, ownership passed to two of her daughters, Hilda and Ida, who continued to run the pub for a further eighteen years, before selling the property to Stroud Brewery in 1952. The sister’s departure drought to an end their family’s long association with the Fountain Inn, which had spanned three generations and lasted well over seventy years.
BEDROOM 1, MARGARET GUNTER.
BEDROOM 2, RUTH JESSOP.
Ruth Jessop was a cleaner at the Fountain Inn for over 30 years, and one of the nicest people you could ever meet. She began working for the Wilkinsons in 1988 and continued working here for us until her retirement in 2020.
Ruth lives in Whitecroft, close to Margaret Wilkinson, the previous landlady of the Fountain Inn, who she has been friends with for many years.
BEDROOM 3, JOLLY JOHN NASH.
Considered to be a gifted musician from an early age, John Nash married Lydney-born Margaret Brown in 1854. He lived with his family at York Lodge, in Parkend, and is recorded as being a colliery owner. He was also the band master for Parkend Brass Band and well known locally as an amateur performer.
After being declared bankrupt in 1864 he looked to a career in the London music halls, quickly establishing himself as a top entertainer and gaining the nickname "Jolly" due to his ebullient personality. He was a pioneer of the laughing song, which was copied by many later exponents, and was known to Charles Dickens, who mentioned him as "Jolly John" in Household Words in 1865.
In 1868 he was invited to perform before the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, and made several sell-out tours of the United States.
BEDROOM 4, WARREN JAMES.
Warren James was born on the southern edge of Parkend in 1792, just as the Industrial Revolution was beginning to take hold. In an attempt to open up the Forest to free-market forces, the government diluted the Foresters' freemining rights. In 1808, it also enclosed large areas, to satisfy increasing demand for naval timber.
Unable to compete with the outside industrialists, and denied their ancient rights to collect timber or graze animals in the enclosed areas, many Foresters descended into abject poverty. Unrest grew and Warren James emerged as a populist leader.
In 1831 he led around 3000 Foresters in open revolt against the Crown, tearing down 60 miles of fencing in an attempt to restore their rights and traditional way of life. Warren James was tried and sentenced to death, though this was commuted to transportation. He was pardoned five years later, but unable to return home, he died in Hobart in 1841.
His actions have inspired many other campaigns over the years and he remains one of the most significant figures in Forest of Dean history.
BEDROOM 5, ROBERT DEAKIN.
Robert Deakin was born and raised at The Nook, opposite the Fountain Inn, at Parkend. Both his father and grandfather had been managers of Parkend Colliery, but Robert trained to become an Anglican priest before embarking on a curacy at Stroud.
He because the vicar of Drybrook in 1847 and then vicar of Charlton Kings, near Cheltenham, in 1949. In 1973 he was appointed as the Anglican Bishop of Tewksbury, serving until his death in 1985.
BEDROOM 6, MATTHEW POWELL.
This was something of a joke; as it actually is our son’s bedroom. Matt serves in the Parachute Regiment, but keeps his old bedroom here. We like to think he still considers it to be his home.
BEDROOM 7, MOSES TEAGUE.
Moses Teague (1792-1849) had been born to a poor family and began working life as a coal miner. His natural genius marked him out and he quickly rose to the position of coal surveyor. Turning his attention to the problems of iron production, he began a series of experiments aimed at finding a solution and to exploit his discoveries he reopened Parkend Ironworks in 1824.
Lacking sufficient funds, he was forced to sell his business three years later, but remained at the works as General Manager. After guiding the company towards enormous success he left to re-open Cinderford Ironworks, finally making his fortune. At its peak, Parkend Ironworks produced up to 600 tons of iron a week
BEDROOM 8, THE OLD BAKERY.
The exception to our naming convention, as this room isn't named after a person. Bedroom 8 was previously a shop, having begun life as a butcher's in about 1915. Between November 1970 and September 1985, it was a bakery, called the Parkend Mini Bakery, and run by Laurie and Iris Cunniffe. Their children, Sherry and Mori, both helped out here too at various times. It enjoyed a great reputation with its customers and also supplied many shops and pubs in the Forest.
BEDROOM 9, MARY ROSE YOUNG.
Mary Rose Young is an internationally renowned ceramic artist who lives and works in the village of Parkend.
She began her career selling work at a Bristol street market and in 1986 she opened a workshop in the room now named after her. In 1990 she relocated to Oak House, on the edge of the village. Her unique and distinctive work is owned by many celebrities, including Ozzy Osbourne, Lily Allen and Demi Moore.
Mary Rose’s gallery at Oak House is open to the public.