Bear Hotel

to The Bear Hotel, Devizes, Wiltshire

The Bear Hotel is ideally located in the heart of the bustling town of Devizes, Wiltshire. Whether visiting for business or pleasure, the hotel can offer you first class facilities, fine food and a fantastic atmosphere.

The hotel has: 25 en-suite bedrooms, including two luxurious four poster en-suite rooms. The Bear Grills Bistro is open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week and there are two welcoming bars.

A professional team of managers and staff will help make your stay extremely comfortable and enjoyable. We pride ourselves on being a three star hotel delivering a five star service. 



lamb cutlets teatime

bar 4 poster bed

Siddons Room

Bear Grills Bistro  Ball Room

The following Terms and Conditions apply to all bookings made on this website. We kindly ask that you take a moment to read them prior to making a Booking. The Company enters into this Agreement as principal for Bookings made for the hotels it owns and as agent where a Booking is made for a hotel that it operates on behalf of the Hotel Owner. The booking confirmation will clearly state the identity of the Owner. In these Terms and Conditions, the following definitions apply:

“The Agreement” is your Booking Confirmation and the Terms and Conditions;

“The Company” is Craneview (Roundway) Limited trading as The Bear Hotel;

“The Hotel” is the premises for which your Booking is made;

“The Booking(s)” includes accommodation, functions and any event bookings made;

“The Guest(s)” is the person, company, organisation or other body responsible for making the Booking;


Guests may book in advance or on arrival. Rooms are subject to availability and the Company reserves the right to refuse any Booking for good reason. Although payment is generally required on departure, there may be occasions when the Guests are required to fully prepay or provide a deposit at the time of the Booking, or, on arrival at The Hotel.


The prices displayed on the website are per room and include VAT. Any meals, including Fully English Breakfast, service or VAT (at the current rate) are included only if specified. A minimum length of stay, deposit, cancellation charge and other conditions may apply to certain rates, as specified.

Price lists for additional items, such as Restaurant meals and Room Service, are on display at relevant locations within the Hotel and are available on request.

Payment: You will be asked to provide a credit card (or debit card) at the time of the Booking to secure your reservation. Where a deposit or full payment is required in advance; by Booking you are authorising the debiting of the card provided. If a guarantee is required, the hotel with complete either full pre-payment on arrival or a Preauthorisation of 150% of your stay. Please note we can only authorise Credit Cards and not Debit.

We accept the following methods of payment: Credit Cards: Most Major Credit Cards, Visa Debit Cards: Visa / Delta and Visa / Electron/Amex.

The Guest must pay all outstanding charges on departure from the Hotel.

Cancellation/ Non-Arrival

The cancellation policy: a full charge may be made if a room is cancelled with less than 48 hours’ notice prior to 10am on the morning of arrival.
Group cancellations of six of more bedrooms are subject to a 14 day cancellation policy which is outlined on your group contract.

All company bookings guaranteed with a company credit account are agreeing to the cancellation policy of 48hours, prior to 10am for all cancellations, no shows and amendments. The will be invoiced directly to the company should you make any of these changes outside of the cancellation date.

Advance Purchase bookings and non-amendable, a cancellation will result in all monies paid to be retained by the Company.
All packages booked are subject to the standard 48 hours, prior to 10am on the morning of arrival policy unless otherwise stated on the confirmation.

Please note that all online bookings must be amended through the booking site and not through the Hotel.

Cancellation and non-arrival charges will be charged to the credit / debit card supplied at the time of booking. The Company reserves the right to charge for one night’s accommodation per room booked if the above cancellation requirements are not met.

Change of Booking Details

Reservations may be amended in line with the Booking conditions accepted at the time of the original reservation/s. Changes may be made subject to those conditions and any deposit / prepayment held is subject to those booking terms at the time of the original reservation.

Where the Booking permits, any change to the arrival date, departure date or room type is subject to availability at the time the change is requested and may result in a possible rate change.

Damage to hotel property

We reserve the right to charge individual guests or lead guests for the cost of rectifying damage which has been caused by the deliberate, negligent or reckless acts of guests to the hotel’s property or structure. If such damage is discovered during the stay it will be drawn to the guest’s attention but if discovered after guests have departed then we reserve the right to make a charge to the guest’s credit / debit card, or send an invoice for the costs for payment to the registered address. We will however make every effort to rectify any damage internally prior to contracting specialists to make the repairs, and therefore will make every effort to keep any costs that guests would incur to a minimum. So if a group is booking the lead guest accepts liability on behalf of the whole group for loss or damage.


In the case of Smoking within the building, including bedrooms, we reserve the right to charge a £100 fine to the guest’s credit / debit card, or send an invoice for the costs for the payment to the registered address. Smoking within a public place is an illegal act. You are reminded of this within your confirmation and on your registration card.
The courtyard is our allocated “smoking area” which is located between the Main bar entrance and the car park. 

We accept well behaved dogs in the Front Market bar. All animals, with the exception of guide dogs are not permitted in any other part of the Hotel, including bedrooms.

Arrival and Departure

Guests may check-in at any time from 2.00 p.m. on the day of arrival. All rooms that have been secured by credit / debit card or prepaid at the time of booking will be held until 12.00 noon on the following day. Any non-secured reservation will be held until 4.00 p.m. on the day of arrival at which time the hotel is entitled to re-let the room, unless the guest has notified the hotel of a late arrival.

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to vacate their rooms by 11.00am (unless a later departure is stated as part of your booking). Late check-out after this time can be requested subject to availability and will be charged at an hourly rate at the discretion of the hotel.


Dependent on the individual needs of the Guest, a specifically designed room is provided at our hotel. Please contact our Reception on 01380 722444 to discuss specific individual requirements and the availability of appropriate accommodation.


The hotel has its own car park, there may be a charge and/or limited spaces available. Please contact the hotel directly for more information.

Hotel Events

Please be aware that at certain times throughout the year the hotel may host weddings, events and parties, which you may feel would be an intrusion on your break. Please contact the hotel directly in advance of your stay for further information.


The Company’s liability where accommodation is booked for Guest belongings is generally limited under the Hotel Proprietors Act 1956.

The Company maintains appropriate insurance cover where the hotel is liable for any injury or loss or damage suffered by our Guests.

If you have a Problem

In the unlikely event that you have a problem during your stay you must bring it to the attention of the hotel management at the time to ensure that we have an opportunity to rectify the problem during your stay. If you are not satisfied that the issue has been resolved fully, please submit details in writing as soon as possible to The Bear Hotel, The Market Place, Devizes, Wiltshire, SN10 1HS.

Use of Personal Information

Please refer to our separate policy statement.

Licensing and Statutory Regulations

The Company, Hotel, functions and conferences within it are subject to Statutory Regulations including those relating to fire precautions and entertainment. The regulations must be strictly observed and a copy is available from the Hotel.  The provisions of the Licensing Act 1964 as amended must be observed.


(i)This clause sets out the entire financial liability of the Company (including any liability for the acts or omissions of its employees, agents, consultants and subcontractors) to the Guest in respect of:

• any breach of this Agreement; and any representation, statement or tortious act or omission (including negligence) arising under or in connection with this Agreement.

(ii)All warranties, conditions and other terms implied by statute or common law are, to the fullest extent permitted by law, excluded from this Agreement.

(iii) Nothing in this Agreement limits or excludes the liability of the Company:

• for death or personal injury resulting from negligence; or
• for any damage or liability incurred by the Guest as a result of fraud or fraudulent misrepresentation by the Company.

(iv) Subject to clause (ii) and clause (iii) and the Company shall not be liable for any special, indirect, consequential or pure economic loss including but not limited to loss of profits, loss of business; depletion of goodwill and/or similar losses. The Company’s total liability in contract, tort (including negligence or breach of statutory duty), misrepresentation, restitution or otherwise arising in connection with the performance or contemplated performance of this Agreement shall be limited to the value of the Agreement.

(v)The Company does not accept liability for loss or damage to any object, equipment, furniture, stock or any other property brought onto the premises by the Guest or persons authorised by the Guest.
Cloakrooms are provided for the convenience of the Guests but any property deposited there is entirely at your own risk.
The Company will endeavour to assist Guests with storage of their equipment etc. but it excludes liability for the loss or damage of those items.

Hotel Proprietors Act 1956

This Agreement does not affect any rights, which the Guest may have under the Hotel Proprietor’s Act 1956, where this act applies

Force Majeure the Company shall not be in breach of this Agreement if it does not provide the services under this Agreement due to the following circumstances:

• Industrial action by the Company’s employees

• Industrial action by the staff of one of the Company’s suppliers

• Fire, lighting, explosion, riot, civil commotion, malicious damage, extreme weather conditions, storm, flood, burst pipes, earthquake, terrorism and the Hotel being damaged or destroyed.

• Postal bookings which do not reach the Company

• Breakdown of machinery, or any failure to supply the Hotel with gas, electricity, water and so on, outside the control of the Company.

If any of the above occurs the Company will do its best to avoid any inconvenience to you or your Guests.


The Company shall have the ability to assign, subcontract or transfer any of its rights or obligations under the Agreement as it sees fit.

Third Party Rights

None of the terms of the Agreement are intended to be enforceable by any third party nor is it intended that this Agreement will confer any right on any person pursuant to the Contracts (Rights of Third Parties) Act 1999.


No variation of this Agreement shall be valid unless it is in writing and signed by, or on behalf of, each of the parties.


Failure to exercise, or any delay in exercising, any right or remedy provided under this Agreement by law to the Company shall not constitute a waiver of that (or any other) right or remedy, nor shall it preclude or restrict any further exercise of that (or any other) right or remedy.


If any provision of the Agreement (or part of any provision) is found by a court to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision shall, to the extent required, be deemed not to form part of this Agreement, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this Agreement shall not be affected.

Right of Set Off

The Company shall have the ability to deduct any sums owed to it by the Guest against any sums it owes whether any such sum is present or future (whensoever arising), liquidated or unliquidated, under this Agreement or not.  Any exercise by the Company of its rights under this clause shall be without prejudice to any other rights or remedies available to it under this Agreement or otherwise.


The Agreement shall be governed by the laws of England and Wales and the Courts of England and Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction to settle any dispute or claim that arises out of or in connection with this Agreement or its subject matter or formation

Web Site Information

While all reasonable efforts have been taken to ensure the accuracy of information on this website the Company do not accept responsibility for errors or omissions and reserve the right to amend, cancel or vary any of the arrangements featured on this site without notice. Please note that in certain circumstances, generic photographic images have been used to represent the general style of a particular product or hotel.

The content of this website is the copyright of the Company, and may not be copied, reproduced, published, distributed or amended for any other purpose without our prior written consent.

Trademarks used on the website are the property of the respective Owners. Hyperlinks to third party websites are provided for your convenience. We cannot accept responsibility for the content or use of third party sites.

This site is operated by Craneview (Roundway) Limited. Its registered details are as follows: Registered in England and Wales. Registered Number 04373977. Registered Office: Staverton Court, Staverton, Cheltenham GL51 0UX.

The Bear Hotel Devizes

In 1773 the following advertisement appeared in a newspaper of the time:

"Thomas Lawrence most humbly begs leave to inform the Nobility, Gentry & others that he is now removed from the White Lion & American Coffee House, Bristol to the Black Bear Inn, Devizes, where he humbly entreats a continuance of their countenance & support assuring them that no endeavours of his shall be wanting to accommodate & oblige them in a manner most becoming."

The words of a Proprietor in 1773 apply equally as well today.

The Bear Hotel, Devizes, has been well known as one of the most prominent hostelries of The West Country over the past three centuries & more. Local annals record the grant of a licence to landlord John Sawter, in 1559, but we are also told that the "Bear" sign was 'set up anew' & it is to be presumed that as a hostelry it existed long before that. The present sign depicts the Bear with a bunch of grapes, but that of 1599 seemed to represent the "Bear & Ragged Staff' which is still the historic badge of the Earls of Watwick. At that time the sign stood in the Market Place some distance from the front of the Inn, on a slab supported by two pillars. There it remained until the year 1801 when Viscount Sidmouth erected the present notable Market Cross.

In the early days the Bear was flanked by the "Bear Asembly Rooms" on the site now occupied by the Corn Exchange. This Assembly Room, used for Civic & public functions had a balconied front, & it was from here that the newly elected Members of Parliament would address their constituents. The extensive back premises were marked on a map of 1654 as "The Queen's Stables," across this yard at the back was the original outer earthwork dividing the ancient Castle from the town. In addition to the stabling was parkland known as the Bear Gardens or Grounds which were rented by the landlord of the time, J. Taylor, until 1664. This land was eventually acquired by the owners of the Castle. Little exists in the records until the tenacy passed into the hands ofJohn Watley, who was esteemed the most eminent publican in the West of England, although it is known that he became bankrupt in 1754 He remained as landlord until Thomas Lawrence succeeded him in 1773. It was in landlord Watley's era that the Bear Club was formed.

In the 1750's when no-one travelled for pleasure, or had any of our present day amusements to distract them, there was little enough to occupy the leisure time of the local business men, consequently they used to gather in the evenings in the Bear. We can picture them sitting around a roaring fire, dressed in drab breeches & long tailed coats, white neck-cloths, buckled shoes & complete with wig, discussing the day's happenings & conversing on politics. They would frown with displeasure if a member of their group were absent, & this prompted the system of inflicting fines upon the absentee. By 1757 they had acquired sufficient funds to promote a charity for the education & apprenticing of the poorer young of the borough one advertisement offers a scholarship of [6 per annum at the 'Technical School.' September 7th, 1848 saw the Bear Club holding it's 95th anniversary, with a business meeting at 4 0'clock followed by a sumptuous feast, including tume & venison. Col. Escourt was present at these preceedings.

Thomas Lawrence came to the Bear from a hostelry at Bristol, where he had not been too successful, but during his stay the Bear achieved a new popularity. We read of travellers who went out of their way to make the acquaintence of Thomas & his "delightful family" — especially his accomplished young son, a bright eyed five year old who would stand on a dining room table & recite long passasges from Milton, Collins & other poets. On the occassions when Garrick visited the Inn he always made a point of hearing the boy recite, as did Mrs. Siddons. So proud was the landlord of his son's talents that he is reputed to have greeted his guests with the words 'A recitation or your portrait, sir?' Lawrence certainly had the interests of the traveller at heart when he made provision for guiding them over the lonely Salisbury Plain. He had twelve foot posts erected at half mile intervals, with the large Roman D cut in each side with the mileage to Devizes & a S for Salisbury. This was done entirely at his own expense & no doubt suring the snowy winters he was blessed by many a traveller.

When Lawrence left in 1779-81? The Bear was taken over by the Halcombe family; this was at the time when coaching was at it's height. Bath had become the fashionable rendezvous for the elite & highwaymen were not slow to realise the fact that good pickings were to be had from these wealthy travellers as they journeyed from London, hence the old coaching route over the lonely Downs to Chippenham via Beckhampton, Heddington to Sandy Lane was abandoned in favour of a new route through Devizes, & the Bear became a hive of activity, with as many as thirty coaches a day stopping here.

The Bear has many historical associations. As the headquarters of Col. Kirke it was a rallying place for the Monmouth adherentsat the time of the Battle of Sedgemoor, & the lodging place of the notorious Judge Jeffreys. In fact it was the official lodging place for many years for the visiting Assize Judges. We are reminded of this by the "Judge's Cupboard" in the arched vaults of the wine cellar. Set in the wall it was a cupboard with white-washed doors, padlocked & complete with red seal. When the Assizes were held the Judge would be accompanied by his own wine butler, who would bring the Judge's own wine & this cupboard would be reserved for his use.

The impressive list of famous patrons who made the Bear their stopping place include King George Ill, accompanied by Queen Charlotte, who stopped there en-route for Longleat, where the King was to recuperate from his illness. On this occasion the Mayor & Burgesses of the Borough prepared an Address of Welcome to be delivered to Their Majesties by the Recorder, but he was so overwhelmed by the honour that, in his nervousness, he lost all power of speech. The Royal coach was about to depart when the day was saved by General Crosby, who grabbed the written Address from the hands of the Recorder & hastily read it. The Chamberlain's accounts for the 16th September, 1789 reveal that the expense incurred by the council at the Bear that day amounted to £10.1 9.0d. Other Royal visitors include the Archduke & Archduchess of Austria who passed through on the day of the presentation of the Coventry dole, & they were duly made recipients of this bequest. Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, together with Edward of Saxe-Coburg & Prince Arthur of Connaught were also guests in 1893 when they came to the town for the Review of the Wiltshire Yeomanry. The Bear must have been the Mecca of social life for the military personnel of the town. As far back as 1758, a reference to the book of Orders for the Wilts Militia state "Lieutenants & other Acting Officers are instructed to dine alternately at the Bear & the White Swan at one shilling a head" each gent calling for his own wine.

In 1817, Queen Charlotte puts on record the fact that she had an "elegant repast" at the Bear & that the landlord put at her disposal "10 pairs of horses as fine as any were put to harness".

The history of the ancient hostelry can be best summed up by the apt quotation, from a well satisfied guest. "What would Devizes be without the Bear? Un-Bear-able!"

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