The Cross Keys

c1835 – 1870

10 & 12 Castle Green.

Religious symbolism in pub names decreased after Henry VIII’s break from the Church of Rome and pub names were changed to eradicate any Catholic links. The Crossed Keys, the sign of St Peter, the guardian of the gates of Heaven, was often found near a church dedicated to St Peter – though this was not the case in Bishop’s Castle!

Pigot’s Trade Directory 1835 describes Samual Richards as a beer retailer in Castle Green, probably at the Cross Keys as no other pub is recorded there, and in 1844 James Sayce appears in Pigot’s Directory, again as a beer retailer. In 1852 his daughter Sarah was witness in a case where one half-sovereign and seven shillings were stolen. William Coyne (26) was found guilty and sentenced to be transported!

In 1855 he provided dinner for the guests at a Friendly Society meeting, which “gave general satisfaction”. The 1870 Kelly’s and and the 1871 Casey’s Directory both record James Sayce in the Cross Keys. A later Town Mayor recalled in 1900, that he sold milk & flour, but never had a full licence.

James Sayce is declared bankrupt in 1869 and the Cross Keys was sold at auction in 1870. There is no record of a pub operating there afterwards and it is now a private house.

Research is continuing on this Pub. Do you have any information or pictures of any of the pubs of Bishop’s Castle? We’d love to hear from you. Contact us here.


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The Cross Keys

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The Cross Keys 52.496074, -2.997945 The Cross Keys