The earliest record of the Crown & Castle is in 1754 when John Chubb sold the property to John Roddis.
1796 Enclosure Map
The Crown & Castle is shown on the 1796 Enclosure map as plot 25, but not under that name. It is simply recorded as 'Cottage and garden' owned by Thomas Odell.
Two public houses are shown on the 1796 map, both owned by Thomas Meacher: the 'Rose and Crown public house', plot 27 on the corner of Water Lane (where Virginia House Stores is located now), and the Swan, plot 167. However, by the time of the 1830-1 Pigot Directory the 'Crown and Castle' was competing with the Swan and the 'Rose and Crown' is not listed. It is not known when the 'Rose and Crown' first opened or when it closed. Perhaps the business simply moved two doors away at some point, with the word 'Crown' in the name being a link.
1830 - 1939
The trade directories published between 1830 and 1939, together with the censuses from 1851 to 1901, provide some details of the Crown & Castle's publicans and their families over this period.
|Publican||Date (Data source)||Notes|
|Thomas Goodman||1830 (Pigot) to|
|1841 (Census): publican, turnpiked road|
Thomas Goodman was buried 11 July 1845, age 51, St Laud's
Ann Goodman was buried 15 Aug 1844, age 43, St Laud's
Their children Edwin (age 4m), George (2), Mary Ann (4), Sarah Ann (10w) also buried at St Laud's between 1831 and 1843
|John Underwood||1847 (Kelly) to|
1854 (Post Office)
|1851 (Census): John Underwood, age 56, victualler, born Little Houghton, Northants|
Wife: Sarah Underwood, age 57, born Floore, Northants
Niece: Caroline Webb, age 13, born Floore, Northants
Visitor: Richard Onley, age 60, labourer, born Floore, Northants
1854 (Post Office): described as 'Old Castle' and brewer
They move to the White Hart before the 1861 census
|William White||1861 (Census) to|
|1861 (Census): William White, age 46, victualer, born Denton, Northants|
Wife: Mary, age 37, born Pytcheley, Northants
Daughter: Sarah, age 10, scholar, born Sherington
Daughter: Mary, age 7, scholar, born Emberton
Son: William, age 1, born Sherington
Lodger: Henry Pittam, age 59, gardner, born Litchborough, Northants
1871 (Census): William White, age 56, publican, born Denton, Northants
Wife: Mary, age 47, born Pytchley, Northants
Son: William, age 11, scholar, born Sherington
1881 (Census): William White, age 67, publican, born Northampton, Northants
Wife: Mary, age 56, born Northampton, Northants
Daughter: Mary, age 26, born Sherington
Son: William, age 21, butcher, born Sherington
|James Joyce||1887 (Kelly)|
|1891 (Census): James Joyce, age 45, licensed victualer, born Sherington|
Wife: Sarah, age 42, born Sherington
Niece: Annie Groom, age 8, scholar, born Pimlico, Middlesex
1901 (Census): James Joyce, age 55, Innkeeper and farmer, born Sherington
Wife: Sarah, age 52, born Sherington
Niece: Annie Groom, age 18, barmaid, born Pimlico, London
1891/1895/1899 (Kelly): James also described as grazier
James died 1902 (St Laud's headstone)
|Mrs Sarah Joyce||1903 (Kelly) to|
|1903 and 1907: described as Crown & Castle and grazier, 1911: C&C only|
Sarah died 1914 (St Laud's headstone)
|Frederick Wadsworth||1915 (Kelly) to|
|William Thomas Hooton||1924 (Kelly) to|
In the 1854, 1864, 1869, 1877 and 1883 directories, the name is given as 'Old Castle'. In the 1876 directory and the 1881 and 1891 censuses, it is the 'Castle'. In the 1861, 1871 and 1901 censuses, it is not named. In other cases it called the 'Crown & Castle'.
Note: there are some inconsistencies in the census data. At present, it is not known if some of these may just be transcription errors, due to difficulties in reading the handwriting, or if they were in the original.
The sign outside the Crown and Castle in one of the archive photos from the early 1900's indicates that it sold Ales and Stout from the Phipp's Brewery of Northampton.
Click on the thumbnails to see larger size copies of the photos. The second photo shows the Oakley Hunt outside the Crown & Castle in the 1920s or 1930s. The Crown & Castle is also visible in some of the archive photos showing general views of the High Street.
The Crown and Castle Today
Today the Crown & Castle, is de-licensed and is a private house. Now called "The Old Castle", it still maintains its original appearance, being a listed building. The inside has not been changed to any great extent. It was only an ale house, and having no cellar, the barrels were kept down a couple of steps at the rear of the premises, on trestles on a stone floor. The two bay windows are Victorian additions, just to improve the visibility and appearance.
The cottages to the North side had been used as a piggery and hen house in the middle of the 20thC, but have now been converted to a house and studio by its present owner. The blacksmiths shop, that was attached to the front of these cottages, was removed in the 1950s, but the area of attachment can still be seen on the front of the building. The blacksmiths workshop stretched across the front of the newly built property, fronting the road, greatly affecting the possibilities of widening the road at that point. In the 50s the road through Sherington was the main A509, and was subject to the rapidly increasing flow of heavy traffic. This did necesitate a road improvement scheme along all its length. This was before the M1 had been built and before Sherington received its own by-pass.
Grade 2 Listed Building
On 27 February 1984, the Old Castle was included in the Department of the Environment's List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest for the District of Milton Keynes under Section 54 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971. The description is as follows:
SP 88 46 SHERINGTON HIGH STREET (west side) 11/157
No.43 (The Old Castle).
- II House. formerly a public house, C18. Colourwashed rubblestone. Old tile roof. 3 bays and 2 storeys plus dormers. Off centre. 6-panel door in architrave surround, frieze and cornice hood. Canted flat-roofed bay windows with sashes to outer bays, 3 pane sashes to lst floor over, not to centre bay. Then 2-light flat-roofed dormers to outer bays. Coped gable ends and flanking stacks.