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No 90 High Street - The Crown Hotel

An inn called the King's Head was originally on this site. It was rebuilt in about 1740 and became known as the 'New Swan' until 1829 when, according to James Maggs, "Mr Hy Garrod alter'd it to the sign of the "Crown"'. Its Doric-style portico was probably added then. Grade II Listed, The Crown is considered one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture in the town.

Thomas Bokenham - owns the "New Swan" and this year founds a "Friendly Society" based at the inn. (M)

Henry Garrod - takes over the "New Swan" on January 6th from Thomas Bokenham who moves up the High Street to purchase the "Old Swan" (now known as 'The Swan Hotel'). He takes the HQ of his "Friendly Society" with him. Ten years later, in 1829, perhaps to end the confusion, Henry Garrod changes the New Swan's name to the "Crown" (M)

Mrs Francois - takes the "Crown" over on 16 January. She has come from Cromer. (M) Henry Garrod moves to Constitution Hill where he sets up a new Beer House called 'The Tom & Jerry'.

Mrs Francois - leaves the "Crown". (M). This is essentially a repossession. Mrs Francois seems to have become insolvent and, according to Maggs, her lease is reaassigned to her creditors, Read Crisp and William Abbott. (More about Read Crisp here). The previous landlord, Henry Garrod temporarily takes over the Crown's management.

Giles Austin - takes over as Landlord on 21 June but leaves a year later. (M)

Philip Westrup (M)

Sarah Hall - takes over as tenant from Philip Westrup (M)

On June 13th this year, The owners of The Crown, Halesworth Brewery, put the hotel up for auction along with the Fishing Buss at the harbour and the brewery's entire estate. This follows the retirement of the brewery's proprietor, Thomas Cracknell. James Maggs records that, 10 days earlier, the incumbent tenant, Sarah Hall, leaves the Crown having been distrained for unpaid rental of £80. The hotel will remain closed for the next two years. (M)

Mrs Lucy Mercer - takes over this 'Commercial Inn and Family Hotel' on May 27th. According to a newspaper cutting preserved by Maggs, it is to be "decorated and furnished throughout with entire New and Elegant Furniture from the first houses in London". A week later, 0n June 6th she marries George Vincent and, on November 19th she holds an official opening dinner party. (M)

George Vincent - who has been keeping the Crown, (presumably in partnership with his wife, Lucy) leaves on 11th October this year (M) and is succeeded by

Richard Sage (M)

Richard Sage - Victualler (W1874). He leaves on 11th October (M) and is succeeded by

First Name Blunderfield (M)

George Gage (K1896) To read an account of the life and career of George Gage by Jenny Hursell, click here.

David Thomas McCormack (K1908).

H W Tyrrell - Proprietor (SSAS advertisement right)

The Crown boasts extensive stabling accommodation and this appears to be run as an independent business by Henry Goldsmith. Henry operates both from the Crown and from "Daisy Villa" in Gardner Road. (See advertisement, right)

Mrs J Moore - 'Proprietress'. See advertisement in the 1915 Southwold Railway Timetable. (K1916)
J Dunton - 'Proprietress' (SCM1923)



Sole Bay Hotels - (G) Was the Crown taken over by this company? Did it change its name? When did Adnams acquire it?



In the early years of the decade, The Crown acquires the adjacent property, No 92 , incorporating it into the bar as an informal dining area. (Confirmation of date.)


Adnams Hotels

Adnams Hotels


Adnams Hotels


Do you have any memories or records about this address? Can you correct any of our information or fill in any of our blanks? If so, please email Barry Tolfree
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BSD - Bernard Segrave-Daly
BCS = Bygones & Characters of Southwold by Barrett Jenkins
C = Census
CP = Cinema Programme 1958
CSP = Coronation Souvenir Programme 1953
G = Gales Trade Directory
GRO = General Register Office
K = Kelly's Directory
LM = Local memory
M = James Maggs' Southwold Diary 1818-1876
MCG = Methodist Church Guide 1930
NA = National Archives
PP = Pantomime Programme 1933
PLR = Petrol Licence Records

POD = Post Office Directory
PPP = Pier Pavilion Programme 1924, 1926
RCE = Rotary Club Exhibition 1969
SCM = Southwold Catholic Magazine 1923
SCTG = Southwold Corporation Tourist Guide
SER = Southwold Electoral Register
SFP = Southwold Scouts Fete Programme 1947
SG = Southwold Guide
SGCH = Southwold Golf Club Handbook
SLHR = Southwold Local History Recorder 1980s 1990s (Mrs R. McDermot)
SMHS = Southwold Museum & Historical Society

SN = Southwold & Neighbourhood 1903
SPM = Southwold Parish Magazine 1895 -1954
SR = Southwold Recorder 1927, 1932, 1934, 1935
SRB = Southwold Rate Book
SRT = Southwold Railway Timetable 1915
SSAS = Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook 1909
SST = Southwold Summer Theatre Programmes
SSW = Southwold Shopping Week Programme, June/July 1922
STG = Southwold Town Guide 1930
SVL = Southwold Visitors List 1907, 1930
SVCP = Southwold Victory Celebration Programme 1946
SWCG = Southwold Wesleyan Church Guide

TTR = 'The Town Revisited' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 2000
TTT = ''To The Town' - Portraits of Southwold by Stephen Wolfenden 1988
W = White’s History, Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk 1874

Note on dates
Unless otherwise stated, dates given do not indicate the years in which the business started or finished but those for which there is firm evidence that it was trading at this address. Sources in brackets; key at bottom of page.


The Crown in 1875. Southwold Museum P1020.
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1909 advertisement
Reproduced from Southwold Sea Angling Society Handbook, courtesy of Carol Stone.
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George Gage, Landlord of the Crown pictured in the High Street close to his hotel around the turn of the century.

With acknowledgement to Sonja Cooper
Click on the picture to read an illustrated account of George Gage's life and career by Jenny Hursell

Crown Hotel in 1915. Reproduced from a postcard in the Robert Palmer collection.
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Advertisement in the 1915 Southwold Railway Timetable
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Advertisement in the Southwold Visitors List of 1907.

The Crown Hotel in 1930s (?) from a postcard in the Robert Palmer collection.
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The Crown Hotel, probably in the 1960s. From a postcard in the Robert Palmer Collection.
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