Apart from the removal of dormer windows the exterior of the 16th Century Crown has changed remarkably little over the years. The pub sign bracket, which can be seen today, was in situ in 1919. A photograph of the peace celebrations of that year shows that the beers were supplied by Ushers Trowbridge brewery. Ushers had acquired the Sun Brewery in Highworth in 1918, a small family concern owned by the Wadley Brothers (Charles Wadley was the owner in 1888), which had 17 pubs in their estate – The Crown Inn was Wadley’s only Gloucestershire pub.
The Tippler: No.13. January 1979 – Pub News: Good news for real ale drinkers on December 16th with the official re-opening of the Crown Hotel, Lechlade, as a free house selling a variety of beers. This unspoilt old hotel in the town centre will now be selling Whitbread Draught Bitter, Wadworth 6X and Morlands Bitter on handpump and Hook Norton Mild and Bitter on gravity when available.
The Crown Inn was put on the market in 1998. The particulars of sale read: ‘A Grade II listed public house offered for sale at £180,000, believed to be approximately 400 years old and has undergone re-decoration and improvements, situated in the High Street with 3 bedrooms, 2 public bars, beer garden, driveway and further potential for a loft conversion subject to planning permission. The property is sold freehold.
Wilts & Glos Standard, Thursday December 11th 2008 – Pub brews its own beer: A Cotswold pub has created its own line of ales after launching a microbrewery on site. The Crown Inn, in Lechlade, will be producing its first brews in time for Christmas and regulars have been involved in naming the brewery and the four beers it makes. Landlords Alan and Valerie Watkins chose the name The Halfpenny Brewery from over 720 highly original competition entries. The three ales will be called Crownin’ Glory, Thames Tickler and Old Lech and the lager is called Crowninnburg.
“The Halfpenny Brewery name was inspired by the market town’s landmark stone bridge that spans the River Thames,” explained competition winners Nick and Claire Brown, from Lechlade. The original beer name competition winners received a £50 cash prize for their creative efforts. “It was a difficult choice, as they were all so clever and we were totally overwhelmed by the vast amount of entries we received,” said Alan. “
“All the real ales will be brewed traditionally on the premises in the newly fitted brew-house round the back. We have sourced and ordered ten vintage English oak barrels from Britain’s only remaining master cooper, Alastair Simms, in Devizes,” said Alan. “They’re over 100 years old and a vital component of the whole process, as we are committed to traditional brewing methods in order to produce the best beers in the area.”
Wilts & Glos Standard, 22nd January 2009 – Top tipple is national success: A real ale born in a tiny brewery in the Cotswolds is proving to be a hit with connoisseurs up and down the country. Old Lech, created at The Crown Inn, Lechlade, was launched in December as one of four homemade tipples created at the pub’s new microbrewery. Real ale aficionados and members of CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, from as far away as Yorkshire and Kent have travelled to the pub just to sample a pint.
Master Brewer Graham Gerrard said: “It has taken over from our best seller which was Bombadier. It’s got a really nice rich taste and it appeals to bitter drinkers. All of the local CAMRA members have been round to sample it already and they enjoyed it.”
The Halfpenny Brewery and Crown Inn, Lechlade, will be holding its first beer festival over the holiday weekend, from August 28th at 5pm to August 31st at 11pm 2009. The Crown has an on-site microbrewery and will be launching new beers. In addition it will have more than 35 real ales, with music, a pig roast and barbeque running.
Gloucestershire Echo, 15th February 2010 – Crowning moment as pub is declared best around: Publicans are toasting success at The Crown Inn. The 17th century pub in Lechlade, near Cirencester, has landed the title of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Pub of the Year 2010 in the South Cotswolds. CAMRA’s Cirencester sub-branch judges felt The Crown stood out. Owner Alan Watkins and his real ale brewery team receive the award today.
Cirencester CAMRA Chairman, Andy Frape, said: “The Crown won because of their commitment to selling good quality ales, enthusiasm of owner and management team, and attitude shown towards the brewery by the locals. Their well-managed and popular summer and winter beer festivals certainly didn’t hinder their cause.”
Out of approximately 55,000 pubs in Britain, only 4,500 of the finest outlets for cask beer can be included in the ‘Good Beer Guide’ – including The Crown. The Halfpenny Brewery, which brews at the back of the watering hole, was commissioned only 15 months ago.
Mr Watkins said: “I’m thrilled to receive this award in recognition of what the pub and brewery team have achieved.”
Unfortunately the Halfpenny Brewery seems to have ceased trading sometime in 2021. The Crown Inn also shut for business but reopened in November 2021 with new owners.
Map Reference: SU 214995
Included in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide in:
1980-1986, 1989, 1991, 1997, 2010-2014
Owner in 1891: Wadley Brothers, Sun Brewery, Highworth, Swindon, Wilts
Rateable Value in 1891: £14.10s.9d.
Type of licence in 1891: Alehouse
Owner in 1903: Wadley Brothers, Sun Brewery, Highworth, Swindon, Wilts
Rateable Value in 1903: £14.10s.9d.
Type of licence in 1903: Alehouse
Closing time in 1903: 11pm
Landlords at the Crown Inn include:
1856 R. Miller
1885 Mrs Elizabeth Edwards
1891 Wadley Brothers
1902, 1906 Alfred Spiers
1913,1919 John James Lee
1927 Charles Smith
1939 Charles James Burgess
2006 Alan and Valerie Watkins
2021 Jamie Hanks and Paul McCarthy