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Here is what we think is the only comprehensive record of pubs and beerhouses within the Coventry city boundaries going back as far as available records allow. This is an ongoing project so contributions, corrections or additions to this archive, especially anecdotes, photos and media are most welcome. Feel free to contact us for a pint and a chat anytime.

The Cranes Inn

photo

Postcard from 1910. Here is the top of Bishop Street looking towards Burges, almost exactly where Bishop Gate would have stood.
The Cranes Inn is on the corner, to the left.On the opposite side of the road is the Castle Inn on the corner of King Street. See map below. Thanks to Rob Orland on the 'Historic Coventry' forum for the image.

NAME CRANES INN
ADDRESS 1 LEICESTER STREET
ALTERNATIVE ADDRESSES 1 LEICESTER ROAD, 1 LEICESTER ROW, BISHOP STREET,
BISHOPGATE STREET

THIS PREMISES HAS BEEN KNOWN BY DIFFERENT NAMES DURING ITS HISTORY

See all available records HERE

FROM TO KNOWN AS
c1661 1960 CRANES INN / THREE CRANES
This is a pub name first seen in London in the fifteenth century. This may have coincided with the crane's increasing rarity. They were a luxury item of diet and had ceased breeding in Britain in the sixteenth century. The first reference we have is in 1661 when it is mentioned in lands belonging to Holy Trinity Church, so it may be within memory of cranes in Britain.

The Cranes Inn stood opposite the Castle Inn and I have read that the Cranes was the older of the two. They were at the place where Bishop Gate stood, which controlled the entrance to the city from the north. This seems to have made the inns popular places to stable horses before doing business in the city; people could then pick up their horse fresh for the return journey. In 1763 the 'Coventry Gang' stabled their horses here before robbing the Castle Inn, Broadgate. See that pub for the full story.

Then the Cranes is mentioned during a trial for the murder of Messrs. Manley and Harris. A Mr. John Barton testified that he had been detained late in Coventry on business and picked up his horse from the Cranes around two in the morning from the ostler. An ostler was the person in charge of stabling horses at an inn.

The earliest references I have for the Cranes is in 1661 when it is mentioned in lands belonging to Holy Trinity church and in 1702 when ownership passed from Hugh Capell to Jonah Crynes.

In 1862 the Cranes was owned by the Free Grammar School. I see that the licensee in 1861 was not only an innkeeper but also a plumber and glazier. On 12.10.1940 the Cranes was damaged by enemy bombing, but having survived this it was demolished along with the Castle for the making of the Inner Ring Road in 1960,

Known Licensees at the CRANES INN are;
1779 John Hunter
1790 William Callow
1822 - 1829 Thomas Mills
1835 - 1841 John Russell
1845 W. Conway
1850 - 1851 Robert Golsby
1855 William Winfield
1855 Fanny Winfield
1859 Charles Conway
1861 Charles O. Matthews innkeeper, plumber & glazier
1868 Edward Eales
1871 John Waters
1874 - 1881 Mrs. Jane Taylor
1886 - 1891 F. Underwood
1893 - 1913 J. Bedding
1919 Ellen Sadler
1921 - 1924 E. Chapman
1926 - 1929 J. T. Rippon
1931 - 1938 S. B. Harvey
1939 - 1940 G. W. A. Elton

Owners are;
1661 - 1702 Holy Trinity Church
1862 Free Grammar School
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Dict PN A name first seen in London in the fifteenth century

History of the Countryside P37 Cranes were a luxury item of diet. Ceased breeding in Britain by the sixteenth century.

1661 JA10 Wilson The Crane Inn, Bishop Street, is mentioned in Church Lands belonging to Holy Trinity.

1661 JA34 Cranes mentioned situated at the top of Bishop Street in 1661. Rebuilt in the twentieth century and extended round the corner into Leicester Row.

23.3.1702 JA7 & 34 Holy Trintity Church Lands

Hugh Capell by indenture dated 23.3.1702 gave to Jonah Crynes and 22 others lands including a messuage called the Crane Inn in Bishop Street.

1756 Alderman Hewitt 6 soldiers billeted

3.6.1763 SEF P11 ' Coventry Gang ' stabled their horses here before robbing the Castle Inn, Broadgate

1779 FDSDC P70 Murder of Newbold and Harris

John Barton...said that he had been detained late in Coventry on business and then picked up his horse from the Cranes Inn, Bishop Street around two in the morning. The inn's ostler hung the horse's bridle on the stable door.

1779 FDSDC P70 Murder of Newbold and Harris

John Hunter of the Cranes INn testified.....Manley......stated.......he and some other soldiers had gone down to the Cranes to ask Mr Hunter for some beer, Hunter refused.

1790 BSL Licensee William Callow

c1800 COC P42 Mentioned in Napoleonic Poem

1808 JA32 PA56/108/31-32 The society ( friendly ) now at the Holly Bush ( Cook Street ) which to meet at the Crane, Bishop Street

1810 COC P11-12 Hand bill by Whitley ' A legend of the Cranes Inn '.

28-29.9.1819 CR 101/9/31-32 Lease and release for a ropewalk adjacent to the Cranes Inn, Bishop Street.

1822 Poole Celebratory dinner at the Cranes Inn, where upwards of sixty gentlemen connected with the market sat down.

1834 JA32 PA36/108/38-39 The Crane Society ( Friendly ) which still meets at the Holly Bush, Cook Street.

1851 Source 49 Board of Health Map

8.8.1855 JA Cov Times License transferred from the late William Winfield to his widow, Fanny Winfield

1859 JA Cov Weekly Times Licensee Charles Conway

c1860 COCIP P31 Illustration

The Castle Inn on the right is an 18th century building, but the older inn opposite off the picture was the Crane. This is the point on which Bishop gatestood: a great square gateway controlling the entrance to the city from the north.

1862 Poole Rental of Estates belonging to the Free Grammar School. An annual chief rent, payable to Mr William Conway out of a messuage and premises called the Cranes Inn, Bishop Street

£ 0 2s 0d

6.5.1865 JA141 CS Transfer of license from William West to William Curtis

1875 ACov P54 Photo

On the right can be seen the Castle Inn ( demolished in the 1960's ) and the Cranes Inn, both of early eighteenth century origin.

28.8.1878 LJ Vol 1 P46 CRANES, Bishop Street Alehouse
Owner : Edwin Brown, Cow Lane
later Northampton Brewery Co Limited
6.11.1884 TOL to Frederick Underwood
31.7.1890 TOL to John Wright
30.10.1890 TOL to Joseph Bedding

1906 OS Map

1913 SOC P40 Photo

12.10.1940 Cov at War 2 P36 Photo

The Cranes Hotel was destroyed on the night of 12 October 1940 ( by enemy bombing ).

Actually damaged

1955 JA Wilson In 1955 directory

1960 JA31 Demolished 1960 along with Castle

LICENSEES

1779 FDSDC P70 John Hunter

1790 BSL William Callow

1822/23 Pigot Thomas Mills

1828/29 Pigot Thomas Mills

1835 Pigot John Russell

1841 Pigot John Russell

1841 Census John Russell 30 yo innkeeper b Wks m Elizabeth, 30 & 1

1845 Kelly W. Conway

1850 CS Robert Golsby

1851 Census Robert Golsby 43 yo b Nth m Susan, 39 & 3d

1855 JA Cov Times William Winfield died

1855 JA Cov Times Fanny Winfield

1859 JA Cov Weekly Times Charles Conway

1861 Census Charles O. Matthews 32 yo innkeeper, plumber & glazier

1865 JA141 CS William West [ b Coventry m Ellen D., 38 & 1d, 1s, 2 servants
1865 JA141 CS William Curtis

23.11.1868 Lantern Edward Eales

1871 Census John Waters

? CIC P32 Taylor

1874 C&B J. Taylor
1878 LJ Vol 1 P46 J. Taylor
1879 Stevens Mrs Jane Taylor

1881 C&B J. Taylor
1884 LJ Vol 1 P46 J. Taylor
1884 LJ Vol 1 P46 Frederick Underwood
1886 C&B F. Underwood

1890/91 C&B F. Underwood
1890 LJ Vol 1 P46 Frederick Underwood
1890 LJ Vol 1 P46 John Wright
1890 LJ Vol 1 P46 Joseph Bedding
1893 Reporter J. Bedding

1894 R&G J. Bedding

1896 R&G J. Bedding

1898 LJ Vol 1 P46 Joseph Bedding
1903 R&G J. Bedding

1905 R&G J. Bedding

1909 R&G J. Bedding

1911/12 Spennell J. Bedding

1912/13 Spennell J. Bedding

1919 Spennell Ellen Sadler

1921/22 Spennell E. Chapman

1924 P. James E. Chapman

1926/27 P. James J. T. Rippon

1929 P. James J. T. Rippon

1931/32 P. James S. B. Harvey

1933/34 P. James S. B. Harvey

1935/36 P. James S. B. Harvey

1937/38 P. James S. B. Harvey

1939/40 P. James G. W. A. Elton

1953 LTSD

OWNERS

1661 JA10 Wilson Holy Trinity Church

1702 JA7 & 34 Holy Trintity Church

1862 Poole Free Grammar School
1878 LJ Vol 1 P46 Edwin Brown, Cow Lane
later LJ Vol 1 P46 Northampton Brewery Co Limited
1898 LJ Vol 1 P46 Northampton Brewery Co Limited

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