Cranes Inn, 1 Leicester Street
|Alternative Addresses:||1 Leicester Road, 1 Leicester Row, Bishop Street,|
|These premises have been known by different names during their history:||FROM||TO||NAME|
|c1661||1960||CRANES INN / THREE CRANES|
Postcard from the early 1900s. 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.
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.|
LICENSEES:LICENSEES: (the CRANES INN) 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:1661 - 1702 Holy Trinity Church 1862 Free Grammar School
Street plan of 1851