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Cross Keys, High Street Cottenham

Cross Keys, High Street, Cottenham

History of the Cross Keys

See Francis Garrett: History of Cottenham’s Inns and Hostelries

1818, William Ivatt of 333 High Street, left to his nephew, James Ivatt ‘ his clos and premises over the Green.’

1830s: James built a brewery and opened the Cross Keys public house managed by William Bruff.

1848 licence transferred to James Finch whose father kept the Fountain.

1851 Gardiner’s Directory commented about the village: The men of this place were formerly so noted for drinking that they were called the Cottenham Gulpers.

1858 John Holmes moved from Waggon and Horse to take over the pub.

1859, James Ivatt died and property inherited by nephew Thomas Ivatt.

1881 Cross Keys Public House

Emma Holmes, 53, inn keeper, b Hants

William, 28, farmer of 7 acres of land, b Willingham

Lucy, 26, b Middlesex epileptic

Emma, 24, dressmaker, b Cottenham

Edwin, 16, engineers apprentice, b Cottenham

Charles, 16, carpenters apprentice, b Cottenham

December 1881 licence passed to Joseph Peck, a blacksmith at the same location.


Following death of Thomas Ivatt, property sold by auction. Described as: old-licensed freehold public house known as the Cross Keys which contains tap room, bar parlour, bar, kitchen, public room, pantry, beer cellar, 5 bedrooms and 2 attics.

Purchasers were J and J E Philips, Royston brewers.

1891 Cross Keys

Josiah Peck, 44, blacksmith, b Cottenham

Eliza, 44, b Cottenham

Henry, 20, b Cottenham

Frederick, 16, b Cottenham

Alfred Pauley, 27, machinist, b Cottenham


James Piper took the licence but lost it the following year after he was found to have sold spirits to two fourteen year old boys.


James Piper, 33, publican, b Dullingham

Esther, 33, b Manea

Benjamin, 3, b Cambridge

Jack D, 1, b Cottenham

James Brown, 40, agricultural labourer, b Suffolk

Mary Bye, 17, servant, b Dullingham

Hyam Pierce took on the licence after James Piper.

Cross Keys, date unknown (photo E Smith)


Walter Ward took the house moving from the Garden Gate


Ernest Smith took over after the closure of the Red Lion.


Ernest Smith found guilty of serving soldiers from the VAD hospital in the village and lost licence.

George Gander took over.


Edward Ellwood licensee


Frank Gawthroup licensee


Alfred Lampard licensee


John Spooner


Gertrude Spooner


Lionel Pryor

Pub closed in 1971


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