Public Houses - The Rose & Crown

The Old Rose and Crown
Sign - not clickableThe Rose and Crown was a very old pub in Penistone. The old, original Rose and Crown had a yard with stables. Its location was adjacent to the later inn of the same name and would have completely blocked the current junction of Market Street with Shrewsbury Road. It had a long run as a coaching inn, as a stopping-off place for the weekly Halifax to London coach. The R&C sign had a rose, half red, half white, surmounted by a crown, which became the badge of the Tudors and dates from the end of the War of the Roses (1485), when the victorious Duke of Lancaster (Red Rose) married Elizabeth of York (White Rose).

The Inn Keepers
We can piece together some of the keepers of the 'old' Rose and Crown in the 18th and 19th centuries. There will be some gaps but we can discover these names: Robert Walker, Joshua Shewabell, George and Thomas Roebuck, William Dagley, Edmund Smith, George 'Rumbo' Brown, Mr and Mrs William Holmes. After the 'new' R&C opened, two names that have appeared were Joseph Byrom and George Stones.

Here are the sources. From a notice of auction in the London Gazette of 1762, we can discover that Robert Walker had at one time kept the inn. From Penistone Church graveyard, we discover Joshua Shewabell. His memorial stone is vertically against the church wall under the west window: 'Here was interred the Body of Joshua Shewabell of the Rose and Crown Inn, Peniston, who departed this Life the 5th day of April in the Year of our Lord 1786, aged 57 Years.'

The Dagley family ran the R&C for most of the 19th century. In a London Gazette notice of a meeting of creditors held there in 1812, William Dagley kept the house after George and Thomas Roebuck of Hunshelf had been declared bankrupt. William Dagley's gravestone in Penistone churchyard shows that he died 1st March 1821, aged 68. Another memorial stone, next to Joshua Shewabell's under the west window, continues the Dagley story with: 'Here Lieth interred the Body of Martha Dagley, of the Rose and Crown Inn in Penistone, who departed this Life January 17th 1801 aged 5 Years and 7 months' (with four more Dagleys on the same stone).

In an 1822 Directory, Edmund Smith was given as the victualler of the R&C. A plaque in Penistone Church refers to Mr George Brown ' ... late of the Rose and Crown Inn in this town, who departed this life 19th July 1835, aged 61 years'. Also Mrs Sarah Brown died 8th April 1836, aged 62.

According to the 1904 Penistone Almanack, the old R&C was 'Famous throughout the kingdom' and especially when Mr George Brown, commonly called 'Rumbo', afforded 'Capital accommodation to man and beast'. In 1868, Just before the old inn was about to be demolished and rebuilt, Mr and Mrs William Holmes were presented with a tea and Coffee Service upon leaving the old R&C, presumably as retiring publicans (from 'Remarkable Occurrences').

Incidentally, Penistone's streets were not named and numbered until 1881. On a plan dated 1749, High Street had been marked as 'Town Street' but it was generally called 'The Street' or 'Penistone Street'. According to 'Times Remembered' (1990), a publication by Penistone LHG, three Rose and Crowns had been built on or near the same site. Given the antiquity of its name, this must have been over a very long time.

Rose & CrownTelephone box entrance

The 'New' R & C
The 'new' Rose and Crown was built in 1869 by Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, to replace the previous one on an adjacent plot. This had cost £1,600, excluding fittings and furniture. By that time, railways had arrived and coaching was in decline. One wonders if this might have been a factor in the rebuild, as there might have been less need of stabling for the coach horses. This could have made more land available for building.

The new Inn was described as a "Beautiful building." Rooms were lit by gas lamps in chandeliers. The 'Commercial Room' was badly damaged by a gas explosion. A servant girl carrying a lit candle went into the commercial room in the morning, trying to find a dog, when the explosion took out a large window which landed in the street. The girl's hair was burnt off and a door and some furniture were badly damaged. The innkeeper Joseph Byrom had accidentally left a gas tap on and closed the door, the night before the explosion happened.

There are some gaps in the 'new' R&C story, at least as discovered by yours truly, although a more careful search of Almanacks might yield some more names. It is likely that Penistone local history group can fill in the gaps. In 1887, George Stones was charged with serving liquor outside of prohibited hours during the Penistone Feast of Sunday 26th June.

The position of the new Rose and Crown left room for access to Shrewsbury Road, which appears on old maps but Church Street had been the main thoroughfare. This might need looking into further but Shrewsbury Road was likely to have been just an access lane until around 1913. A condition laid down for the Carnegie Library and the Town Hall (etc.) to be built was that Shrewsbury Road be adopted by the Parish Council.

Over the years, the outward appearance of the inn would have stayed the same, except for what would have been dark stonework from soot and pollution. In living memory, most stone buildings were quite dark and dingy and this includes Penistone Church. The trend for most public houses from perhaps the 1970s was to become more 'open plan', with the removal of doors and interior walls and the Rose and Crown followed this trend, while keeping a small 'snug' room at the front of the building.

In recent times, it changed hands several times. Marianne ('Maz') had a successful run with a very popular venue and a weekend disco. It was taken over by 'Simon from Sheffield', a qualified chef. He provided some very good and popular meals but there until a rapid change of hands in December 2009. It settled down under new management early in 2010 but started opening later than before and the food trade declined. The doors might still be locked at 1pm on a Sunday when the other pubs had already been open for a while and doing a roaring trade. Except for 'Bed and Beak fast' guests, food eventually ended at a time when both the Spread Eagle and the Old Crown had been providing food.

2008 Pictures
In May 2008 the Rose and Crown had a major refurbishment. It was a good effort too and made it into a very comfortable place to relax and chat. It had been a popular choice for watching football on TV and could easily be packed out for big matches. It was often very lively in the evenings but trade was to gradually drop off.

The Shrewsbury road door was made smaller and a patio door fitted in the lounge area, for easy access to the beer garden (and smokers' corner). It looks much less cluttered now. Carpets were replaced throughout and the part of the floor near Market Street door was tiled. Walls were re-painted, a new TV appeared on the wall by the pool table, new picture frames went up and new tables and chairs arrived to complete the picture. It had an extended beer garden to catch the sun, a smoker's corner and a good car park.

From the Market street entrance, the first picture (top left, below) shows the snug, a small quiet side room suitable for rendezvous of various kinds, or a kind of snogging corner. From near the Market Street door, there was dance area and fancy jukebox looking like Blackpool Illuminations. There was also pool table and TV nearby. The view of one of the three sides of the bar area ("Does my bum look big in this?") is again from near the Market Street door.

The spacious lounge area (as I call it anyway) was close to the car park/beer garden door. The door in the darker corner of the right picture went to the 'Gents' and, in the below-left picture, the door went to a kitchen. The last two are of the beer garden and the smokers' gazebo.

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R&C 2008R&C GardenR&C Garden Gazebo

The End of an Era
Rose and CrownThis little piece of Penistone history is now lost to us as a public house. The pub sadly closed down and its fixtures and fittings were removed. In April 2011, planning permission was submitted for a change of use from a public house into an office block. By June, the builders were in there doing their work and fitting new interior walls to create new rooms.

Dransfields solicitors moved in soon afterwards, from their very old home next to HBSC and Robinson's News. The name quickly changed to 'Pennine Law' and continued as solicitors.

See the Old Inns and Public Houses history page for the other current and demised hostelries of Penistone and district.

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