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The Andrews Pages Picture Gallery : Godalming, Surrey
A selection of photographs and postcards of a Surrey country town
 
Crownpits, Brighton Road, Godalming, Surrey, 1895


An attractive view of Crownpits, these days part of Brighton Road and the B2130, looking downhill towards central Godalming. The photographer was standing beside what is now a children's play area. The junction with Crownpits Lane, formerly known as Green Lane, goes up the hill to the left. Some of the properties on the left are shown on the 1871 Ordnance Survey map, but those nearest the camera were built slightly later[1]. The footpath on the left has been widened and lengthened in the intervening years, though the road itself remains narrow.

On the right were two public houses. The sign for The Three Crowns is easy to see, but next door but one was a second pub, The Queen's Head, which was first known as The Traveller's Rest[2]. The 1841 census indicates that there was already a Beerhouse in Crownpits as Surrey born James Boxhall was listed as a Beer Seller in that year[3].

Robert Oliver was The Queen's Head landlord for over twenty years in the mid to late 1800s. In 1878 he advertised as a licensed beer and tobacco retailer, selling White's celebrated ales & London porter[4]. There were several licensees before him, included John Blackman (1855)[5]. At various points in its history the beerhouse did not, unfortunately, enjoy the best of reputations[2]. The Queen's Head was not large and in 1911 the census showed it having four rooms; the landlord was Samuel Goff from Stockland in Devon[3].

The estate papers of George and Sarah Marshall of Godalming show The Three Crowns amongst the deeds of properties they owned in the 1870s[6]. The pub was on quite a large plot behind which was a sand pit, later disused[1]. John Evershead was running The Three Crowns in 1855[5]; the 1861 census shows two John Eversheds living on Brighton Road but one was a gardener and the other a market gardener and it is difficult to know whether they were still living at the pub[3]. David Spencer was the licensed victualler and beer retailer in 1878[4]. He advertised a horse and trap to be "let on hire". Robert Laver from Yeldham in Essex had taken over the business by 1881 and he was still there ten years later[3]. He was succeeded by Robert Oliver who moved from The Queen's Head in the early 1890s, so was the licensee when this picture was taken, and was there until at least 1913[7]. Both the 1901 and 1911 census returns show his son Harry and daughter Ada unmarried and "Assisting in the Business"; Harry was working as a Bar Man in 1901 whilst Ada was the publican's assistant[3]. In 1911 The Three Crowns had seven rooms[3], although it later expanded into the two cottages next door[2]. The image shows a convenient post outside the pub for hitching the horses to.

The Queen's Head closed in 1951[2] and is now a private house. The Three Crowns stopped trading in 1974[2] and was demolished, being replaced by a row of houses.


"Godalming, Crownpits". F. Frith & Co. Ltd., Reigate, No.36163. Published 1895. Not posted. This coloured version has a divided back so was printed some years later.
Postcard in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References:

[1] Old Ordnance Survey Maps can be viewed at http://www.old-maps.co.uk/. Some of the houses on the left were drawn on the both 1871 map and that from 1873-4, with the remainder in filling on the 1897 version. The 1871 map shows the Sand Pit behind Three Crowns but by 1897 it was no longer being worked ("Old Sand Pit").
[2] Janaway, John (2003) "Godalming and Farncombe Pubs and Breweries", Ammonite Books, Godalming, Surrey. ISBN 1-869866-14-2. (Original name of the The Queen's Head and dates of closure).
[3] The 1841 and other census returns can be found on Find My Past
[4] "Post Office Directory of Godalming", 1878. The brewer Thomas White was "of the Railway Hotel" in 1855 (directory), but was later of West Surrey House, Bridge Street (1878 directory and 1881 census).
[5] Kelly's "Post Office Directory", 1855.
[6] See the details of the Wills and freehold estate of George and Sarah Marshall at the Surrey History Centre.
[7] "Kelly's Directory of Surrey" (1913) Kelly & Co. Ltd, London.




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