“ Address: 400 Handsworth Road / Sheffield / South Yorkshire / S13 9BZ „
The Cross Keys is a small public house in the suburbs of Sheffield. It is sometimes claimed that this is one of the oldest pubs in the city but in truth the premises were not licensed to sell ale until 1823. The building itself however dates from around 1250 and it is a Grade 2 listed building.
St Mary's Church stands to the rear of this pub and this building began its life as the church house. It was originally a black and white timber framed building but these days it has been whitewashed to give it a more modern external appearance.
Looking at the pub today it is obvious that the building has been extended and it now looks like two small houses joined together. The smaller of the two buildings was the original church house whilst the other part was added just before the premises were licensed in 1823. In the 1850's the building was extended further. On the outside of the original building there is a tiny wooden door, which though not original dates from the 1700's and still has its original hinges and latch.
The interior of the pub is very small, which is exaggerated by the low ceilings which still have their original black wooden beams. The decor is in keeping with the old feel of the place and on the walls there are some old photographs of the local area from the early part of the 20th century. There are also small ornaments on the wall like horse brasses.
Considering the age of this building it's probably not too surprising to learn that there are many stories about this pub being haunted and beneath the building there are a number of different tunnels. One of these tunnels runs under the road to nearby Handsworth Hall, whilst another is said to run to Manor Lodge at the side of the Manor Castle.
Overall this is an interesting place and well worth a visit if you are ever in the area.