the crossways inn


In 1838 John Baker owned the ‘cottage and garden’ standing on the corner at the crossroads.  He lived in Parkhurst Farm (now Quinnettes) just up the road but owned, and presumably, farmed the land in that corner of the village.

The only publican listed in the 1841 census is Charles Graggeory (Gregory as pronounced in the local accent).  According to the tithe returns, Charles Gregory owned the cottages at the corner of Crabtree Lane and Jumps Road (the modern names) and was a tenant at the cottage now known as Bookhams. Presumably one of the cottages owned by Charles Gregory was an inn and tradition has it that it was called the Black Horse.

There were no people described as either publicans or beer retailers in the 1851 or 1861 census returns but in the 1861 returns both John Gregory and Charles Mathews are listed as victuallers.  An entry in the 1855 Post Office trade directory lists them both as beer retailers.  The directories were often a few years out of date.  They had probably been selling beer from their property for a few years previous to that.

In 1871 Arthur Chuter was at the Crossways Public House. He was described as bricklayer and public house keeper.  He was still the publican at the Crossways Inn in 1881 when it was called ‘The Shant’ in the census returns and he was described as ‘bricklayer and publican’.  Perhaps it was Arthur’s wife, Hannah, who, according to legend, gave the pub this name by refusing to accept the amorous advances of the customers!

According to the 1891 census John Nicholas Baker was a publican and carpenter living at the Crossways Inn.  It was called The Cross Roads Inn in some trade directories.  In 1895 the Crossways Inn was bought by Farnham United Breweries for £1,000.  It was rebuilt at a cost of £599.4.10 and improved with a further expenditure of £31.10.0.  In a photograph of 1910 it looks very similar to the way it looks today

Crossways Inn 1890s



By 1901 the publican was Silas Mullard.  In this census return, although the pub has reverted to its original name, the lane, now known as Hale House Lane, was called Shant Lane.  Although the pub was again being called the Shant by locals in the 1940s (Michael Stenning).

In 1911 George Shrubb aged 45, a single man, lived at the Crossways Inn which had 8 rooms.

After that date we have had to rely on trade directories (and information from relatives!) for information (although the 1921 census will be released in 2022) and we are informed that the publicans of the Crossways Inn since that date have been:

1913 Montague Mullard,
Information from Ray Thackray
I am able to give you a bit more information on the landlords.
In the 1921 census the landlord was George MELLS ( wrongly transcribed as Mills). His wife was Elizabeth Ada née Smith who was my wife’s Great Aunt.
George died 18th June 1952 and Elizabeth Ada in May 1943. Both were buried in Churt churchyard.
In the 1939 Register they were living at a house called Melijaba and he was a carpenter.
Elizabeth Ada’s mother was Sarah White previously Smith nee Jeffery. She had been born near Adelaide, South Australia, in 1844, the daughter of early settlers from Wiltshire. She came to England around 1855 and lived around Southampton and Portsmouth.  Towards the end of her life she moved to Churt to be close to her daughter and died in March 1927 aged 83. The burial record gives the address as 6 Sandy Lane, Tilford Road. She was buried 12th March 1927.

James Dickens 1927 – at least end of WW2 (possibly 1947?),

1947 – 1958 R. Tickner.

Frank and Florrie Ford were the landlords of the Crossways in the 70s and 80s.

This photograph and the caption were sent by Sarah Barton.

The couple circled in blue are my (Sarah Barton) grandparents Violet Dickens and William Wylie. They were married in St John’s church in 1937. The man circled in red is my great grandfather, James Dickens, who was the landlord at The Crossways Inn from about 1927 till at least the end of WW2.

Crossways Inn in Churt around 1927