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Caxton > Crown Inn
The Crown Inn was situated on Ermine
Street. This was a grade-II listed pub.
From: An Inventory of the Historical
Monuments in the County of Cambridgeshire, 1968
The Crown House, a former inn, is of
two storeys with cellars and attics. The walls are partly framed and partly
of red brick and the roofs are tiled. The building is to a U-shaped plan
with a main range along the street and divergent wings to the W enclosing a
yard which is connected with the street by a carriage entry in its NE
corner. The structure is of C16-17 but was considerably altered in the C17
and subsequently. A first-floor gallery on the S and E side has been removed
along most of the S side and has been enclosed and underbuilt on the E side.
The S and parts of the E and N elevations are in red brick of the late C17
which may replace an earlier timber frame. Some original studwork survives N
of the entry and in the upper parts of the E and N walls. The S side has a
stepped and moulded plinth and a double band at first-floor level. The
brickwork of the E front is similar an both now have C18 hung-sash windows,
some of which have been set in earlier openings. The roofs are hipped
excepting the W end of the S wing which is gabled.
Spanning the E end of the entry is a wooden lintel of the first half of the
C17, and at the W end of the entry the bressummer carrying the gallery over
it is carved with egg and dart ornament. The external appearance of the
building from the yard has been confused by alterations and additions as
well as by the partial destruction and enclosing of the gallery.
The N wing extends to a large brick-built outbuilding of the late C17 or
C18, much altered, which has been a used as a stable. Beyond it is a walled
enclosure and a small pond with brick revetment.
Inside the house are several C17 brick fireplaces, for the most part
elliptical-headed and placed across the corners of the rooms. One retains
its original plaster, the rest have exposed brickwork and may have been
stripped, the largest has a wooden lintel in place of an arch. Visible
features of the C17 on the upper floors include three turned wooden posts of
the gallery front; some wall painting in light red, yellow ochre and black
in imitation of inlaid panelling four panels high with a frieze; and a door
of six run-through panels with cocks-head hinges and carved overthrow. A
short stair to an attic has flat pear-shaped balusters and is C17 or C18. To
the N of the entry there was, until recently, a small C18/19 postal sorting
office, but now all that survives is the wooden post box built into the N
wall of the entry.
House formerly The Crown Coaching
Inn. C16 or early C17 with later C17 and C18 alterations. C17 red brick,
painted in street elevation, and exposed and plastered timber-frame. Hipped
plain tile roofs. Two ridge stacks to left hand and one stack to right hand.
Two storeys with attics and cellars. U-plan with rear wings enclosing yard
and with evidence of galleries to south and east; carriageway to north of
centre and coeval with north range; south and west ranges late C17. Street
elevation: Plastered plinth and double brick band between floors. Two first
floor and one ground floor blind windows, five first floor twelve-paned
slightly recessed hung sash windows and four similar ground floor windows.
Entrance to left hand approached by stone and brick steps with six-panelled
C19 door and panelled reveals to doorcase with canopy on shaped brackets.
Carriageway with early C17 carved four-centred headed arch; half-glazed door
to right hand. Rear elevation has enclosed gallery to east and partly
demolished and enclosed gallery to south; three wooden pillars survive.
Interior: Red brick corner hearths with elliptical brick arches and one with
a mantel beam, in south and rear ranges; large inglenook hearth to north
range. Wall painting of panelled design in first floor room. C17 door with
cockshead hinges. Short flight of original attic stair with flat balusters.
The Crown Inn was the collecting Post Office for north Cambridgeshire by the
end of the C18, and was used as a Magistrates Court until 1839, it ceased to
be an inn c1860.
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