Historic Burnley pub calls time

The Cross Keys Hotel in Burnley is closing down
The Cross Keys Hotel in Burnley is closing down

One of Burnley’s oldest watering holes has finally called time.

The historic Cross Keys in St James’s Street was believed to be Burnley’s second oldest pub after the Swan, but modern drinking habits and its peripheral location to the town centre seem to have contributed to its demise.

Local historian Roger Frost said a pub or inn had occupied the site since the early 1500s, but the present building had been rebuilt in 1906.

He said: “There was an inn on the site as far back as the early 16th Century. It more than likely brewed its own ale for many years.

“The Cross Keys name can be attributed to its link to St Peter’s Church in the town, the chapel for Whalley Abbey, which owned the land.”

Beer enthusiast and columnist Mark Briggs said he was sad to see another local pub close.

He said: “I think it was inevitable that the Cross Keys would close sadly. It was very much a traditional pub and its location did not help.

“It was on the periphery of the town centre where there are a currently a number of very good real ale bars. It was a free house, and the beer was very good but it was out on a limb.

“The traditional ‘wet-led’ pub, as the Cross Keys was, totally relies on beer sales. These types of pubs are struggling now.”