Cross Keys

Hertfordshire - Harpenden

A historic pub interior of regional importance

Listed Status: II

39 High Street
Harpenden
AL5 2SD

OS ref: TL133144

Tel: (01582) 763989

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Station: Yes

Nearby Station: Harpenden

Station Distance: 450m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Harpenden) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

A pub since at least 1731 but notable for the virtually-intact design scheme engrafted in the 1950s. Various 'olde worlde' features were introduced such as brick fireplaces with medieval overtones, leaded windows and bench seats. The bar on the right has a fine flag-stoned floor and oak beams pre-dating the make-over. The pewter top on the semi-circular bar (with pewter handpump base as well) is one of only half a dozen in the country. The ply panels on the counter front have seen some damage hence the carpet tile covering. The left hand lounge has a quarter-circle wooden counter with brick infill and black Formica top. Note the glass fronted display cases which may once have been used to store bottles of spirits

This two-bar town pub dates back to at least 1731 (when it was The White Hart). It had a make-over in the fifties and a visit is a must to see a virtually intact design scheme which is a splendid survivor considering its town centre location. Various “olde worlde” features were incorporated such as a brick fireplaces with medieval overtones, leaded windows and bench seats. The bar on the right has a fine stone-flagged floor and oak beams which are much older. The semi-circular bar has a pewter top and pewter handpump base - one of only half a dozen in the whole country. The brass inlaid cross keys on the lino floor as you enter date from the early 1960s.

The left hand lounge has a quarter circle bar counter of wood with brick infill and with a black Formica top. Note the two glass fronted display cases possibly originally used to store bottles of spirits. One of the diamond shaped leaded panels in the front left window has the initials 'RHJ + BB' and refer to previous licensees Reg & Brenda Johnson who ran the pub from 1961 to the 1980s - a local repaired the window 'for a drink'!

Hanging from the beams are numerous pewter mugs etc. on numbered hooks and there are lists of who owns them in frames on the wall. The only change appears to be the covering over of the ply panels on the front of the public bar by carpet tiles, as some of the panels are damaged.

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