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Brindle - Cross Keys

Name: The Cross Keys

Address: Sandy Lane, Brindle




The Cross Keys was a part of village life from the 1700's and like many rural inns was also a working farm until the mid-1800's. Some local history is recorded below: -

The village and parish of Brindle has existed since at least the 13th Century, and has been variously known as Brumbull in 1202, Burnhull in 1205, Burnul in 1212, Brunhill in 1227, Brunehill in 1247 and Bryndhill in 1511. It is unusual in that it is a single township parish, although it contains a number of hamlets. The village remained compact with houses nestled around the Parish Church of St James for most of its life, experiencing most of its growth in the 19th and twentieth centuries. The Cross Keys, Cavendish Arms and Bull & Butcher were all a stone's throw from St James'.

Even today the village is still compact in size. Robert Grelly of Manchester held the manor of Brindle until the 14th Century when it passed by marriage to the Gerards of Bryn. They held it until 1582 when it was sold, to pay a heavy fine levied by Queen Elizabeth I for loyalty to the Roman Catholic faith, to William Cavendish, the Duke of Devonshire. As late as 1717 several ‘Papists’ registered estates were recorded. The hearth tax of 1666 shows 112 hearths, quite a number for a largely rural area. James Heatley of Samlesbury purchased an estate in the parish and with his son, William (1764 – 1840) built Brindle Lodge. This fine house passed to his niece, Mrs Catherine Eastwood who subsequently sold it to a Mr Whitehead of Preston.

The first official record I can find of the Inn is in the 1825 directory below with one Henry Waring present.  Interestingly the gazetteer also recorded the Dog Inn and Lord Nelson Inn as being in Brindle at that time albeit they are both now officially in Whittle-le-Woods.


The Cross Keys picture at the top, right of centre

Listed landlords were Henry Waring (1825), William Wadsworth (1841-48), Robert Alty (1848-1856), Richard Burton (1861), Joseph Blackwell (1871-91), Thomas Blogg (1901) and John Southworth (1911).

1841 Census

Preston Chronicle 12 August 1848

Preston Chronicle 07 July 1849

1851 Census

Preston Chronicle 16 October 1852

Blackburn Standard 01 June 1853

Life wasn't always easy for landlords in the 1800's and Robert Alty felt the pinch too, as the below article from 1856 reveals.


Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 07 June 1856

1861 Census

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 19 June 1863

1871 Census

Blackburn Standard 25 September 1875

Preston Chronicle 11 October 1879

1881 Census

Local church records show the marriage of Joseph Blackwell on 8th Oct 1885 at the Immannuel church in Feniscowles, Lancashire: -
Joseph Blackwell - 50 years, Joiner & Builder, Widower, Cross Keys Inn, Brindle
Ellen Ainsworth - 50 years, Spinster, Bee Hive Inn, Cherry Tree
Groom's Father: John Blackwell, Wheelwright & Joiner
Bride's Father: William Ainsworth, Farmer
Witness: Thomas Fowler; Catherine Brindle
Married by Licence by: Alexander Gallaher
Register: Marriages 1879 - 1900, Page 24, Entry 47

Lancashire Evening Post 13 August 1890

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser 21 November 1890

1891 Census

Preston Chronicle 12 September 1891


1901 Census

1911 Census

Pictured below, the Cross Keys public house is now converted into three private residences, Cross Keys Cottage, Villa and Barn – the principal element is a three storey construction (unusual in Brindle) of rendered brickwork (or possibly random stone), with substantial stone quoins and shallow pitched slate roofs.

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