The Crown

  • Press article re Christmas Fat Stock show in 1905
Archive Notes:

Information about The Crown Inn including Wilfrid Sheldon's recollections and Fred Naish's recollections - including visits by the Prince of Wales with the College Beagles.

Crown Inn or Crown Hotel dates from 1544. Part of the Parsons family tree referring to William Parsons of Church Cowley, Victualler, of the Signe of the Crowne' (1556).

Stage coaches used to travel down High Street from Oxford and Wycombe to the Crown, where there was space for changing of horses and stabling. Heresay has it that there were four stables for 'heavy horses' which were made available with a groom and at a price (allowing the owner's horses to rest) for pulling the coach to the top of Shotover Hill, after which they were returned to The Crown. As was often the case the earlier owners combined the businesses of farming and owning an inn and this was the case here. The Crown Hotel or Crown Inn was located on the coaching route until this changed at the end of the 18th century when the business declined and the Crown Inn, in the early 1800s, built the Crown Tap on Church Road accessed from the new London Road route by a lane called 'Office Lane' as this was where the auctioneer’s office was in the little lane opposite the doctor's house and the horses and carts used to come down there from the main road to the auctioneer’s office.

Listing details state 'Inn, now house. Early/mid C18. Coursed squared limestone rubble and timber lintels; old plain-tile roof with brick stacks.  4-unit plan with rear wing. 2 storeys plus attics. 5-window front has earlier 3 bays to left with central carriage entry with old plank doors and flanking sashes; 3 sashes at first floor and 2 roof dormers. To right is a 2-window rubble extension with tall sashes and a central lateral stack. Lower rubble wing to left has C20 windows and a hipped roof, and it is linked to a long rubble and tiled rear wing. Interior not inspected.  Formerly the Crown Inn, first recorded in 1554'.

There was a track from Church Road to the east of the Crown Tap which was used by steam engines, and the like, attending the fairs held at the back of the Crown Inn in the early 1900s.

Until 1908 (the last one found on Oxford newspapers files perhaps because Mr Franklin died the next year), there was a pig, sheep, and cattle market held once a month in the Crown yard on a Tuesday, and a circus held from time to time. One of the attachments refers to Flanagan's Fair being held in the Crown Yard. Christine Jackson refers to Pettigroves Fair, although not in the Crown Yard but an annual sight in the field by the railway line off Roman Road (Muddy Lane) soon after the war was over. Press article re Christmas 1905 show which attracted buyers from far and wide.

In 1910, the Crown Inn was owned by Halls of Oxford and let to William Tombs.

The Crown Inn is understood to have given up its licence in 1938. It was converted into two dwellings by Cullums the builders.

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