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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 Three Cranes Inn

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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 THREE 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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