19-23 Crown Road, The Crown Inn
Photo from newspaper advertisement for the Historic Grade II listed former coaching inn - August 2003.
Crown Inn or Crown Hotel. Part of the Parsons family tree referring to William Parsons of Church Cowley, Victualler, of the 'Signe of the Crowne' (1556).
The Crown Inn dates from 1544. Stage coaches used to travel along the High Street to and 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 returned to The Crown. Often owners combined the businesses of farming and running an inn and this was the case here too. 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.
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 1909, 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.
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.