It is known that a tavern called The Cross Keys was registered on the site at the top of Byard Lane by Jasper Greenfield in 1785 but beer has probably been made and sold here for much, much longer. The current building dates to 1900 but the site has been in use as the brewery and alehouse of the nearby 12th Century St Peter's Church from around 1700 or even earlier. Investigations are currently underway that could date the earlier, original building to around 1610, and possibly 1490 or even earlier.
The first journal to mention The Cross Keys in is The Poor Rate Book in 1799 and states that one John Levers, Victualler ("Cross Keys") is a resident of "Blowbladder Street" to the north of the tavern. Always a landmark pub it is situated in the richly historic Weekday Cross area of Nottingham that was the original market place for Nottingham and the centre of the city's council, police and law courts from the fourteenth to late nineteenth century. The Galleries Of Justice are a few yards away and the now demolished Guild Hall and prison once stood in this area.
"The original building had to be torn down due to the railway tunnel being built below. During the work the cellar fell into the tunnel and the workers took full advantage of this spending the weekend drinking most of the contents before being found on Monday morning!"
There is another mention of the pub in "A Guide To Old Nottingham" written by Harry Gill in 1917:
"Just beyond, the end of Byard Lane is passed. A few years ago an old inn, the Cross-Keys, (now rebuilt), stood at the top of this lane, on the walls whereof was painted the legend, "Home brewed ales sold by the yard." The beverage (about a gallon) was served in a tumbler three feet long, so made that the contents were liable to flow all over the face of the unwary customer, whereat the spectators laughed hugely."
The current building dates from 1900 after the over enthusiastic tunnelers undermined the foundations caisung the original structure to be torn down. During the 20th Century The Cross keys carried on as a popular city centre watering hole and only in recent times, as style bars boomed and pub popularity waned was it painted a hideous yellow and renamed "CK's". Thankfully, it is now back to its very old self.
The Cross Keys serves a range of beers including seven hand-pulled cask ales and a strong selection of craft beers and keg products. The mainstay of this is from Navigation Brewery which opened in 2012 with guest beers from near and far. Cider drinkers will be happy (aren't they always) with some mainstream brands on draught and a small range of real ciders plus cold lagers, premium draught lagers and a number of bottled continental beers.
The menu is essentially British based with the addition of an extensive breakfast selection and some more standard pub food. Suits and shoppers, lawyers and layabouts alike will all find something to their fancy in its pages.
The Dining Room
The Dining Room is available for private hire for parties, group bookings, events, conferences and more. It is located above the pub, allowing you to enjoy our delicious menu (or tailor-made buffets) in an exclusive, restaurant setting. Get in touch with our management to book The Dining Room for your next company event or family party.