which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell

Photo album: Inns, ale-houses and public houses in Crich Parish

Over the years Crich Parish has had many places which sold beer and spirits. In 1577 there were five licenced ale-houses (names unknown). It is known that there have been about twenty "hostelries" in the parish over the years. The places still open are:
Cliff Inn, Crich
Black Swan, Crich
Comrades Club, Crich
Kings Arms, Crich
Red Lion, Fritchley
Canal Inn, Bullbridge
Lord Nelson, Bullbridge
Derwent Hotel, Whatstandwell

Rhyme about the parish Inns

THIS is a rhyme my late mother-in-law, Mrs Mortley, gave to my wife, Joyce, many years ago. It concerns the pubs that used to be in our district, from the bottom of Bullbridge Hill, through Fritchley to the Town End at Crich. There are only five of these pubs left now. It reads:

As "Lord Nelson" was staggering out of the "Canal Inn",
Watching the "Red Lion" devour the "Shoulder of Mutton",
He fell into the "King's Arms", who was standing under the "Royal Oak",
Out of the "Rising Sun", watching the "Black Swan" near the "River of Time".
They both laughed when they saw the "Jovial Dutchman",
Followed by "The Greyhound" who was taking "The Wheatsheaf" to "The Bull", who was grazing near "The Cliff".

Tony Lester, Fritchley

The rhyme mentions "The River of Time" which is a mystery.

Cliff Inn, Town End

Cliff Inn

An early postcard of the Cliff Inn showing the 1851 Crich Stand and mine workings.

Cliff Inn

A slightly more modern Cliff Inn.

Cliff Inn

The Cliff Inn is still a public house.

Bulls Head, Cromford Road


The sign for the Bull's Head can be seen in the distance, on the left. The 1851 Crich Stand can be seen in the far distance. The church wall and railings are on the right.

Bulls head modern

The Bulls Head is now a private house.

Wheatsheaf, Wheatsheaf Lane

Wheatsheaf pub Crich

The Wheatsheaf on the corner of Wheatsheaf Lane and Cromford Road. George Stephenson stayed here when his mineral railway was being built.

Jovial Dutchman, Crich Cross

Jovial Dutchman 2

jovial Dutchman 1

The Jovial Dutchman, standing as it does beside Crich Cross, must be one of the most photographed public houses in the parish. The first photograph shows when it was thatched, before the modernisationshown in the second picture. It ceased being a public house in 2009.

The Greyhound, Roes Lane

Greyhound pub

The Greyhound once stood on Roes Lane but is no more; it has been demolished. Joseph Roe Smith was a landlord here as was his grandfather Joseph Roe. Roe's Lane is named after the family.

Black Swan and White Swan, Bowns Hill

photo of Black Swan

The Black Swan is still a public house. The Archway seen below is part of what was once the White/Nether Swan coaching inn. Crich Market Place can be seen in the distance.

Samuel Bower 1822-1897 was landlord here from before 1853 to about 1880. Read more...

White/Nether Swan, Bowns Hill

White Swan

The gabled house at the bottom of Bown's Hill was once the White/Nether Swan coaching inn. It is now called Archway House. The sign for the Black Swan can just be seen.

The only discovered reference to this was in the Derby Mercury dated 18 March 1813 when it was named as the "Nether Swan".

Auction of the Nether Swan 1813

The Comrades Club

Comrades Club at Crich

Crich Comrades Club, just off Crich Market Place, was built during WW1. It is still open for business.

The Rising Sun, The Common

Rising Sun

The Rising Sun stood at the bottom of Sun Lane on the Common, near Crich Market Place, which can be seen in the distance. It is now a private house.

Royal Oak, The Common, Crich

Royal Oak

The former Royal Oak on the Common which now is part of a terrace of houses still known as Royal Oak Buildings. You can just see the last remains of the painted sign on the wall (but only just!).

The Kings Arms, The Common, Crich

Kings Arms

Kings Arms

The Kings Arms is still a public house. The first photograph shows when it was thatched taken about 1900. The second photograph was taken in the 1960s.

The Victory


Once an ale house called "The Victory". The beer was brewed opposite at Dial Farm.

Chadwickwick Nick Ale House

Chadwicknick Ale House as was

In A.B. Watkins document, "The Manor of Crich", he describes the position of drinking establishments in the Parish and their relationship to the highways and byways

" old pack track which runs by a footpath into Chadwick Nick Lane and so down into Fritchley for Heage. A cottage at the top of the footpath down to Fritchley Lane was once a public house and there was a row of drinking troughs close by for the pack horses..."

There are currently two cottages here, both private houses.

Shoulder of Mutton, Fritchley

Shoulder of Mutton

Shoulder of Mutton

The Shoulder of Mutton in Fritchley, now a private house. You can still see the brackets which supported the old pub sign and the painted outline advertising the brewery and its products.

Red Lion, Fritchley

Red Lion

Outside the Red Lion at Fritchley when it was stone built.

Red Lion

Red Lion before the rebuilding.

Red Lion

Red Lion after being rebuilt in brick. It is still a public house.

Bluebell Inn, Fritchley

Blue Bell

Believed to be at, what is now, Church Farm on Church Street. Church Farm is one of the oldest buildings in Fritchley and is now a private house.

Canal Inn, Bullbridge

Canal Inn

The Canal Inn was close to the canal (of course) and is still a public house.

Lord Nelson, Bulbridge

Lord Nelson pub

The Lord Nelson at Bullbridge is still a public house.

Derwent Hotel (Bull's Head), Whatstandwell

Derwent Hotel 1

The Derwent Hotel was once called the Bull's Head. It seemed that all the public houses which were part of the Hurt Estate had animal names.

It stands on Whatstandwell Bridge and can be seen on the left of the first photograph.

Derwent Hotel

Derwent Hotel in the 1950s

Derwent Hotel

Derwent Hotel in 2008. It is still a public house.

Wheatsheaf, Whatstandwell

Wheatsheaf customers

Customers outside William Bowmer's Wheatsheaf Public House. Date unknown

Wheatsheaf Whatstandwell

Wheatsheaf when William Bowmer was landlord.

Wheatsheaf Inn

The Wheatsheaf in Whatstandwell, now a private house. The old pub sign brackets can still be seen. This was the public house that Florence Nightingale considered purchasing to convert into a coffee house and reading rooms. Read more...

Photo Derbyshire Advertiser 1972

Mr and Mrs Bowmer publican at Wheatsheaf Whatstandwell

The Iron Grates, Whatstandwell

photo of Iron Grates ale house

Iron Grates (now a private house) is on Glen Road towards Bryan's Steps. The photograph shows the iron grate covered by a wooden panel. This where the beer barrels were lowered in to the cellar.

Last Drink Out/ Horse and Groom, Causeway Lane, Plaistow

Photo courtesy of Sue Worboys

Photo of Last drink out pub

Photo courtesy of Sue Worboys

Photo of last drink out pub

Standing outside the farm is Mrs Tom Radford and daughter Edith.

Photo courtesy Miranda Hitchcock

Photo of Horse and Groom Inn

The ale house "Last Drink Out" was also known as "Horse and Groom". It is now a private house.


Miners Hack, Wakebridge

Photo of Miners Hack
Photo courtesy Mr and Mrs F. Dyson

It is said the local miners were paid their wages in the Miner's Hack and they then proceeded to drink much of what they earned away. It is now a private house.

Thatched House Tavern and Hurt Arms Hotel, Ambergate

Hurt Arms Hotel

The Hurt Arms Hotel, Ambergate, was built on the site of the Thatched House Tavern in 1874. Although not in the parish the Hurt Arms was widely used for Crich meetings and auctions. The Thatched House Tavern was mentioned in Directories for Crich.
In the photograph the toll house and toll gate can be seen on the turnpike road from Belper to Cromford (now the A6)

Photographs and postcards courtesy of: Beryl Calladine, Esme Woolley, Miss E. Bunting, Peter Patilla, Eric Bowmer, Cyril Phillips, Adrienne Holmes

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