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Maids Head Hotel Logo

Sending warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and safe 2021 from all the team at the Maids Head

Following the latest Government announcement on Wednesday, 23rd December, we will continue to stay open to support all those guests who are permitted to travel for essential purposes. For the comfort of our guests, we will also be providing room service of both full English breakfast along with a hearty supper menu, all delivered safely to your bedroom door. Call 01603 272007, or email reservations at [email protected] if you have any concerns, or if indeed if you would like to make a reservation. We will keep you updated and let you know as soon as we are able to throw open our doors once more.
Rest assured we have put into place all the Government’s COVID-19 Secure health and safety measures to ensure the well being of all our guests and staff.  We have also been awarded the Good to Go mark. We are continuously updating our risk assessments as the Government guidelines change.

Read our blog post nowRead our Covid -19 Risk Assessment

The Watts Family Returns to Palace Street

The Watts Family The Watts family outside the entrance to the Palace Street shop

In February we were delighted to welcome 13 members of the Watts family for Sunday lunch, all descendants of Arthur and Mary Ann Watts who ran a bakery, and lived in what is now the Maids Head’s Palace Street wing, during the early decades of the 20th century.

The Palace Street wing was converted by the Maids Head in the 1980s into a series of function and meeting rooms on the ground floor, with suites up above. The suites, which used to be the Watts family living quarters, have all been refurbished in the last year.

The Watts family had a bakery and shop in the Palace Street wing from the early 20th century. Arthur Watts met Mary Anne Wardell, when she was 16. They married and had 14 children. There were eight brothers, most of whom ran Watts Brothers Building Contractors, with an office on the corner of Pigg Lane.

Arthur died in 1936 and the bakery closed soon after that, however Mary Anne (d.1977) was very entrepreneurial and changed direction. She opened a grocer’s shop in the old bakery shop and converted the bakery into a function room known as The Bake Office.

The Bake Office was very popular for local parties and weddings. People also used to go there after the Samson and Hercules closed and Mary Anne served up egg and chips all round. During World War II she provided accommodation in the function room for American airmen.

At the February lunch, there were three granddaughters, three great granddaughters and four great great granddaughters, plus granddaughters and great grandaughters-in-law. We look forward to further visits from the Watts family and finding out more about the family’s history.

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