The Cross Keys

About The Cross Keys


The History



Cross Keys Bar 1It 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 Beer

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 Food

About Cross Keys Food 1The 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.


The Wines and Spirits

Cross Keys Artwork 1The small but perfectly formed cellar is stocked with 4 reds, 4 whites and 3 rose. Bubbly stuff is also be on sale as well as a supremely stacked back-bar for those looking to push the boat out a little further.



The Game

There are two plasma screens showing football, rugby and cricket in glorious HD, it's not a sports bar by any means but we can’t ignore our national pastimes.

The Walls

Our artwork is provided solely by local artists including stunning black and white street photography of Nottingham by Simon Parfrement and Stephen Wright. There's also a rather special one-off commissioned artwork combining two of our more colourful local heroes... "Bryon Clough"
 " A stone’s throw from the Contemporary is the Cross Keys pub on Byard Lane. A popular venue with locals, it is noted for its laidback charm and traditional pub grub” - The Guardian

"Thirsty after a hard day’s sightseeing? The newly refurbished Cross Keys is just the ticket”- East Midland’s Trains Magazine Top Pick

"Make no mistake, this place is now drop-dead gorgeous; an immaculate place to have a pint” - Leftlion Magazine

"Standing four-square behind British cuisine, the menu is laden with the saucy vernacular of the old country – homemade pudding, creamy mash, rich gravy, rump steak and rustic chips.” - Noshingham 2010

"The lounge area has a real gentlemen's club feel about it, an ideal place to chill out and chat. ” - Nottingham Post

"Such high quality” - Nottingham Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)


A little bit of recognition from The Guardian...


Download this PDF of The Guardian's take on a couple of days in Nottingham - lovely to see some positive press about our City in the Nationals.
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 Registered Office: 14 Phoenix Park, Telford Way, Coalville, Leicestershire LE67 3HB. Registered Company Number 02738233