History of The Crown
People have been enjoying a pint at the Crown for 250 years, thanks to local farmer and woodman, Samuel Collison. When Samuel died in 1767, he left £100 in his will for the Parish to buy the Crown (whether the building was already operating as a pub is unknown).
A Parish Charity was set up to manage the pub. In 1827, they had it rebuilt at a cost of £324. The pub has changed little in its appearance since then. Beer was drawn up from barrels in the cellar and there was one public bar for men and a small room for couples.
In 1836, William Harper became the landlord as well as being a butcher. Five years later, William Rutland took over. He and his wife Phillis, whom he had married just the year before in 1840, ran the pub for the next four years. Phillisís father, Edward Phillippo, a local cattle dealer, was licensee from 1845-46. William Rutland returned as landlord in 1850 (there is no information on who managed the pub from 1846-1850).
William and Phillis continued to run the pub until 1862 when William died. Phillis then managed the Crown on her own for the next two years. She then married George Bartaby in 1863, after which they ran the pub together until 1878 when George also died. Phillis was presumably once again faced with managing the Crown on her own until her death a year later.
The new landlord, John Howe, ran the pub from 1879 until his death in 1888. Harriet Howe (her relationship to John is unknown) took over in 1890 and then handed the pub over to Johnís wife, Elizabeth, a year later. Elizabeth was there for just 12 months. There is no information as to who ran the pub for the next five years but, in 1896, John Nobes became the new landlord.
Gertie Nobes outside The Crown
John managed the Crown for the next 27 years before handing over to Arthur Goodman in 1923 who it seems ran the pub until 1933 when Alfred Colman was to become the landlord.
Alfred moved there with his wife, Doris, two year old Janet and 3 month old baby, Pamela. Their son Louis was born there in 1936
From 1936 -1939, a Mr Myhill ran a butcherís business in that part of the pub that now forms the toilets. Also in 1936, a bowls green was installed on what is now the beer garden ( the bowls club relocated at some later date to its present site alongside the Parish Hall ).
By 1952, the Parish Charity had owned the pub for nearly 200 years. The annual rent - around £30 at that time - was used to provide financial help to the poor of the Parish. However, the costs of maintaining and repairing the Crown had now outstripped the income. Donald Jarvis, the former head master of Colkirk C. of E. Primary School and a Parish Charity trustee, told the Parish Council that there was a balance of £73 but essential repairs were going to cost £98. The landlord, Alfred Colman, said he doubted if £20 had been spent by the Trustees in the 15 years he had been there - the windows were still tied up with string although he had been told these would be repaired, and the ceiling in one bedroom was still shored up with timber.
It was therefore proposed that the pub - still a free house at that time - should be sold and the capital invested so that the charities could continue to provide assistance to the needy of the Parish.
So, in 1958, the Crown was sold by public auction to Greene King for £1500.
The signing of the agreement in 1958 to sell the Crown to Greene King (Donald Jarvis on left).
Alfred Colman then retired and moved with his wife, Doris into the bungalow next door owned by her father, George Brunning.
Lancelot ( Lance ) Potter arrived as the new licensee.
Lance Potter and his wife at the Crown in 1958
John Tredinnick took over in 1964. He had previously worked for a mining company in Zambia and displayed a lot of the copper items he had brought back with him in the pub.
John Tredennick and his wife at the Crown in 1965
John was followed by William Cameron ( Jock ) who arrived in 1968. William was a recovering alcoholic; he died of a heart attack in 1971 ( a year after he had handed over to new landlord George Frost ) whilst attending an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.
In 1971, a Mr Marshall from Devon donated a horseshoe that had originally been made in Colkirk. It contained an inlaid photo of its maker, Edwardian blacksmith Frank Wright.
George Frost told Mr Marshall that he would display the horseshoe in the bar in a prominent position - but nobody knows where that horseshoe is now.
Rosemary and Patrick Whitmore took over the Crown from 1979 - 2001, undertaking extensive renovations, including building the dining room and kitchen.
Roger and Bridget Savell arrived in 2001. Roger decorated the pub walls with his photographs of local landscapes and posters of Formula1 racing. They left in 2012.
From May 2012 to May 2013, Matthew and Katherine Allen were the licensees.
From May 2013 to October 2014, Peter and Denise Nesbitt were the licensees, during which time, on 1st May 2014, the pub was one of 275 pubs sold to Hawthorn Leisure for £75m.
Closed in October 2014
Reopened under new licensees, Aidan O'Dwyer and Nicola Dewhurst on 2nd December 2014
Closed in January 2016
Reopened under new licensee, Andrew Cleave on 20th May 2016
Closed on 19th February 2018
Reopened under new licensee, Colin Catman Hood on 23rd February 2018
Closed on 30th October 2019
Reopened under new licensee Tracy Whitehead with Paul Rushmer on 16th November 2019
Closed until further notice on 15th November 2020
Return to Home Page