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Then and Now: There used to be two Cross Keys Inns in the Grantham area





There were two Cross Keys Inns, one on the corner of Chambers Street in Little Gonerby and one on the corner of the High Street and Vine Street, writes Ruth Crook of Grantham Civic Society.

The crossed keys are a symbol of the Christian saint St Peter, the apostle of Jesus, who by tradition guards the gates of heaven. Sometimes the sign of the crossed keys also has an inverted crucifix, because St Peter was crucified upside down, as he didn’t think he was worthy of dying in the same way as Jesus.

Historically any inn or pub called The Angel, Cross Keys or The Lamb were usually in the vicinity of churches.

The Cross Keys in Grantham was demolished.
The Cross Keys in Grantham was demolished.

After the Reformation, many pubs eradicated their Roman Catholic links. The St Peter became the Crossed Keys, The Ark became The Ship. Many other pubs changed their names to infer loyalty to the king, and became The King’s Head or The King’s Arms, from this period.

Notions can now be found where the Cross Keys used to be.
Notions can now be found where the Cross Keys used to be.

Some Grantham pubs, such as The Rose on the Market Place, may date from this period and may be named after the Tudor rose. The George Inn may be named after St George, who emerged as the Patron Saint of England in the mid fourteenth century

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