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Picture of Cross Keys Inn
Image posted by Will Larter
Submitted on Monday, 11th July 2011
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Cross Keys Inn, Sedbergh

Postal town: Sedbergh
LA10 5NE
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Served areas

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Will Larter left this review about Cross Keys Inn

This is a 400 year old temperance inn situated in a beautiful part of the Howgill Fells and not far from Cautley Spout waterfall, a few miles north of Sedbergh. The pub's own website describes the origin of its present status thus:

"Following a jolly evening at the Cross Keys a relative of a local family by the name of Buck was being helped home in the direction of Ravenstonedale by the then Landlord. It would seem that this relative fell down the river banking. In an attempt to assist him the Landlord fell into the river Rawthey and subsequently drowned. On the 27th October 1902 the Cross Keys was sold by auction at the Bull Hotel, Sedbergh, for £900.00 to Mrs Sarah Buck of Ravenstonedale. Mrs Buck re-sold it to Mrs Edith Adelaide Bunney who removed the liquor license, with the result that since 1902 the Cross Keys has been a Temperance Inn."

There was some debate on the Pubs Galore forum as to whether this entry should be on this site. Again, to quote from the pub's own website, "We have a small farmhouse style restaurant where we serve daytime meals between 10.00am and around 4.00pm Wednesday to Sunday and evening meals on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights from 7.00pm onwards." The emphasis is therefore very much on food, with the website providing this warning: "Because we are a Temperance Inn we cannot sell you any alcohol. However you are most welcome to bring along the drinks of your choice when you dine with us. We will provide corkscrews and glasses but there is no corkage charge."

It was felt that the entry should remain, as the establishment clearly provides some sort of refreshments to the public, albeit not of the alcoholic variety, so I set out on July 1st to take a photograph and go into the pub so that I could write a review. As I approached the door, intending to go in for a drink, the man who can be seen in one of my photos accosted me thus:

"Can I help you?"

Now, I've had this question put to me a number of times in a number of different ways, but this one clearly had the intonation which implies: "You seem to have gone astray and are encroaching on private property. Now f*** off before I set the dogs on you!"

I replied that I had been taking a photo of the pub and now wanted to go in for a drink. The landlord (for it was he) said "It's not a pub". I said that I realised that it did not serve alcohol but that I understood one could go in and purchase a non-alcoholic drink. He then told me there was a private party on - there was no notice of this outside as I have seen on numerous other occasions when a (proper) pub hires all or part of itself out like this.

I said this shed new light on his offer to help me, because clearly he had no intention of helping me. He said he thought I might have been one of the party, or was seeking directions. The tone of voice used made it clear that he didn't expect me to believe this, and didn't care either.

I said that it was a shame I couldn't come in for a drink, as the pub was listed on a website called Pubs Galore and that if it wasn't possible to get a drink then it might be delisted. He said "Fine", and went inside.

Luckily I had already purchased some non-alcoholic beverages from the alcohol-free shop in Failsworth on my way to Cumbria, so I was able to drown my sorrows later.

It may be that others will be luckier in their approach to this place than I was. Although it is not clear that an application for a liquor licence would improve the charms of the Cross Keys, it is almost certain that a more congenial host would add to its attractions.

On 15th July 2011 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2643 recommendations about 2492 pubs]

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Pub location see interactive map of local area
Map location corrected by Will Larter
Kirkby Stephen, 8.02 miles, 2 hr 34 min walk (show)
Garsdale, 11.77 miles, 3 hr 47 min walk (show)
Dent, 11.95 miles, 3 hr 50 min walk (show)
Latest updates View all updates for Cross Keys Inn, Cautley
25th Jul 2013, 19:27
Picture submitted by peter ashworth approved
19th Jul 2013, 18:17
Picture submitted by peter ashworth

Pub Details

Pub details supplied by members of this site to the best of their knowledge. Please check with pub directly before making a special trip.

  • Beer Festivals : No last updated 10 July 2014 by ROB Camra
  • CAMRA Discount : No last updated 10 July 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Hot Food : Yes last updated 15 July 2011 by Quinno _
  • Real Ale : No last updated 10 July 2014 by ROB Camra
  • Real Cider : No last updated 10 July 2014 by ROB Camra
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