Established by the Eastwood family in the mid-1700s as the Woolpack, the name was changed to the Golden Fleece at some point between 1803 and 1817 by butcher and innkeeper William Eastwood. The family's links to the premises appear to have ended in 1847 with the death of Joseph Eastwood. The inn was advertised for let in July 1847:
MELTHAM. TO BE LET, with immediate Possession, all that commodious and old-established INN, or Public House, known by the Sign of the “GOLDEN FLEECE,” situate in the centre of Meltham, near Huddersfield, in the County of York, with the Barns, Stables, Out-buildings, and other Conveniences thereto, and about Ten Acres of excellent LAND now occupied therewith, late in the Occupation of Mr. Joseph Eastwood, deceased. The Situation is suitable for carrying on the Business of a Butcher conjointly with an Innkeeper, such Businesses having been carried on with great success by the late Mr. Joseph Eastwood and his Father for the last Fifty Years.
TO BUILDERS AND OTHERS. TO BE LET BY TENDER, the Masons’, Joiners’, Plasterers’, Plumbers’, and Glaziers’, and Painters’, work required in the ALTERATION of the GOLDEN FLEECE INN, Meltham.
By January 1869, the renamed Victoria Hotel was advertised for let:
TO BE LET, the VICTORIA HOTEL, Meltham, near Huddersfield. The situation is excellent, being near the Railway Station, and on the district road for all passenger and goods traffic. The house has been re-arranged, and is well fitted up for the commercial trade. There is ample and good stabling, &c.
The successful applicant was George Norcliffe, who placed the following notice in the local press:
GEORGE NORCLIFFE begs to inform his Friends and the Public generally, that he TAKEN the VICTORIA HOTEL, Meltham, lately occupied by Mr. Mapleston. It is within three minutes’ walk of the Station on the new line of railway ; is fitted up with good Stabling and every convenience.