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Home > Cambridgeshire > Cambridge > Cross Keys

Cross Keys

Date of photo: 2019

Picture Source: Google Streetview

The Cross Keys was situated at 25 Magdalene Street. This pub was present by 1546 when the owner was Nycholas Spyrynke.
Source: Maurice Gleeson
From: Walks Round Vanished Cambridge: Bridge Street, 1976, H.Bosanquet
The Cross Keys Inn was the largest of the four inns on Magdalene Street and dates to c. 1620. Bosanquet notes that crossed keys were the symbol of the Pope who held St. Peter's keys to heaven, and by this analogy states that the inn must have existed prior to the C16 Reformation. The "grotesques" or carved gargoyle-type devils holding the overhanging second storey may have indicated that the inn was once a brothel, but may also have been a means of warding off witchcraft. Bosanquet believes the inn likely went out of business in the C18. It was almost demolished in the 1930's when the road was widened. However, the upper floors have now been converted into student accommodation while the ground floor is let as shops.

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