Earliest information: c.1573
Original estate: Hungerford
Common Rights? Yes (Frontage 16ft; 2 horses or 4 cows)
Date of current building:
c1781-c1836 "The Angel" alehouse
1849-1938 "The Crown" brewery.
c1895-1902 Frontage changed to mock Tudor
c1920-30 bay windows added.
- 23 High Street, Jan 2007
- Early portrait labelled "William Charles Fisher (1860-70?), Brewer at the Crown brewery (given by Mrs Lilian New)
- Stone flagon impressed "T Frankland, Wine & Spirit Merchant, Hungerford". Thomas Frankland ran the Crown Brewery from c1869 - c1881.
- 23 High Street, c1902
- Hocktide, ?1960s. The Tutti-men using a ladder to reach the first floor of Charles May, jewellers (at 23 High Street from 1955-c1970). The first floor flat was occupied by Col & Mrs Cotter.
c.1573 (NH) John and Edward Collins
The Angel Alehouse c1781-c1832:
1781 (CL) Henry Clements
1781 (NH) Sun Fire Ins. Co. Vol 273 Policy No. 444027, 13 June 1781: George Jones of Newbury took insurance on The Angel Alehouse in the tenure of Henry Clements. Brick and timber and tiled. £100.
? (NH) Thomas Poffley
? (NH) Robert York
?Pre-1793 (NH) Rev. Thomas Davies
1793 Richard Townshend sold to Edward Collins, glazier and painter.
1793 (NH) Richard Townsend (devisee of George Jones, devisee of Rev. T. Davies). Property was "formerly in the occupation of Henry Clements (*1), since of Thomas Poffley, and now of late of Robert York" and was "for many years used as an alehouse called The Angel". Townsend had been left the property in the will of George Jones. The property was then described as lying between the [town and] church property on the north (occupied by Richard Fulbrook) and the Greyhound Inn on the south (owner Thomas Hawkesworth, occupier William Watts).
Documents of 24 High Street refer to the adjacent property in 1793 as "The Angel".
1808 Collins raised a mortgage on the premises from Cheyney Waldron in 1808, when the neighbouring tenant on the north side (formerly Richard Fulbrook) was now John Church.
1819 (EA) Shows Neale in this position or 24 HS; Churchwardens to north (now Town Hall).
1831 (CS) "The Angel" public house, consisting of a shop and garden, occupier Edward Collins (on the south side of the Churchwardens House)
In the 1831 census this property was termed "The Angel" public house, consisting of a shop and garden, occupier Edward Collins.
The 1836 Quit Rent lists the owner as Edward Collins, "for house late the Angel Alehouse". It seems that The Angel had already closed.
1836 (NH) Edward Collins died. In his will dated 1836, Edward Collins left the reside of his estate to his grand-daughter Emily Reeves, who appointed Richard Lye and John Tanner as her trustees, eventually selling in 1846 to James Keen, on whose death in 1849 it passed to Benjamin Keen and in 1850 to Crown Brewery. [In 1836 the house on the south was occupied by Thomas Magg and that on the north by William Barnes].
1836 (NH) Mary Reeves (daughter of Edward Collins, wife of Thomas Reeves)
1846 (NH) Purchase by James Keen (of Garlick Hill, London, mustard manufacturer). Uncle to William Alexander, owner of No 24 HS next door. It seems that by 1846 it was purchased by James Keen. By this time it had been converted into a dwelling house and shop and had been late in the occupation of Thomas Batson Reeves, painter and glazier. James Keen was the owner in the 1847 Commoners List - although there was no occupier at the time. James Keen died shortly after, and his will of 1850 provided for the property to be sold by his executors. It was accordingly put up for auction at the Bear on 11th November 1850.
1846 (NH) No. 23HS, formerly the Angel, (like The Greyhound) had also been converted into a dwelling house and shop and had been late in the occupation of Thomas Batson Reeves, painter and glazier.
1847 (CL) James Keen (own); Void (occ)
1849 (NH) James Keen died.
1850 (NH) The will of James Keen provided for the property to be sold by his executors, and it was accordingly put up for auction at the Bear on 11th November 1850. The highest bidder was Benjamin Keen, the local chemist, who purchased it for the use of Henry Brookes Marriott of Hungerford brewer, the property already during James Keen's lifetime having been converted into a brewery and spirit shop called The Crown Brewery.
1849/50 (NH) Purchase by Benjamin Keen (of Hungerford, chemist). Died 1858. Property: Now converted into a Brewery and Spirit Shop "The Crown Brewery".
The Crown 1850-c1938:
The highest bidder was Benjamin Keen, the local chemist, who purchased it for the use of Henry Brookes Marriott of Hungerford, brewer.
1851 (CS) ?Henry Marriott (51), brewer
1851/57 (NH) Benjamin Keen raised further mortgages on the property in 1851 and 1857. When he died in 1858 he left his estate to two trustees Thomas Wooldridge and Thomas Hutchins to hold on behalf of his wife Jane Elizabeth and his children.
1854 (Billing Directory): Benjamin Keen, wine & spirit merchant.
Benjamin Keen died in 1858, and the property was described as "now converted into a Brewery and Spirit Shop 'The Crown Brewery '."
Benjamin Keen raised further mortgages on the property in 1851 and 1857.
When he died in 1858 he left his estate to two trustees Thomas Wooldridge and Thomas Hutchins to hold on behalf of his wife Jane Elizabeth and his children. Jane E Keen is described in the 1861 census as (aged 34 years), a wine and spirit merchant. The 1863 Dutton & Allen Directory has Mrs J Keen in the "Market Place".
1858 (NH) Jane Elizabeth Keen (widow of Benjamin Keen) for life. (In 1863, she marries Henry Edward Astley). Dies 1876.
1860-70? See portrait top right labelled "William Charles Fisher, Brewer at the Crown Brewery"
1861 (CL) Mrs Keen (owner and occupant)
1861 (CS) Jane E. Keen (34), wine and spirit merchant
1863 (NH) Jane Elizabeth Keen married Henry Edward Astley in 1863, and Astley paid £200 for the residue of a mortgage owing on the premises.
1869 (NH) Benjamin Keen
1869 Kelly Directory: Thomas Frankland
1869 Census: Thomas Frankland
1871 Census: Thomas Frankland, brewer.
1876 (NH) On Jane Keen's death in 1876 the property descended to the three children of her first husband Benjamin Keen – Anne, Clara and Benjamin Henry. Benjamin, however, died on board the U.S. ship "Pensacola" in 1880 without issue and the two daughters Anne and Clara, having married, sold the brewery mortgage to the sitting tenant Elisha Love (1890), together with a plot which had been added to it at the rear between the then new Corn Exchange and Church Street.
1876 (NH) Property as above and plot of ground bordering Church Street three children of Benjamin and Jane Keen:
- Anne Keen (married Charles Seabrooke of Grays Essex, brewer)
- Clara Keen (married John B. Cotterell of Hungerford, agricultural implement maker)
- Benjamin Henry Keen (died 1880 on board U.S. ship "Pensacola". No issue).
Anne Keen married Charles Seabrooke of Grays Essex, brewer. Her sister Clara Keen married John B. Cotterell of Hungerford, agricultural implement maker
1881 (CS) Elisha Love, wine and spirit merchant
1886: The Reading Observer of Sat 10 Jul 1886 recorded that "ODDFELLOWSHIP - On Tuesday, at the half-yearly meeting of the Newbury District of Oddfellows, held at the Crown Brewery (note - this may be in Newbury?) it was reported that the district was progressing very well, the number of members now amounting to 798, and the Hungerford Lodge was specially singled out for zealous working in the cause."
1890 (NH) Elisha Love (sitting tenant of the brewery). Died 1909, leaving widow Margaret and son F. Edward Love, licensed victualler.
1896 (CL) Elisha Love
Elisha Love remained at The Crown described as a wine and spirit merchant until 1896 [and died in 1909, leaving a widow Margaret and son F. Edward Love, licensed victualler].
1900 (Cosburn's Dir) "Love & Son", Crown Brewery.
The licensee to follow was Tom E. Crook.
1901 (NH) Tom E. Crook. In 1901 Love sold The Crown Brewery to Tom Crook, but Crook, who had raised a mortgage from the Capital & Counties Bank (the local forerunner of Lloyds Bank) went bankrupt in 1913 and the bank foreclosing , found a buyer in F.M. Adnams, the Newbury brewer.
1902 (T&M Register) Tom Evi Crook (owner)
c1903: At some date c1903 the frontage of the property was considerably altered, as can be seen from the photographs.
1903 (T&M Register) Tom Evi Crook (occupier until 1913)
1913 Tom Crook went bankrupt.
1914 (NH) Capital and Counties Bank Ltd.
1914 (CL) Mr & Mrs Frank Edward Love
1914 (T&M Register) Frank Edward Love (occupier)
1915 (Kelly Dir) Mrs Margaret Love & Son, Crown Brewery.
In May 1917 The Crown Brewery was sold by auction. The Reading Mercury of Sat 12 May 1917 recorded: "Reduced value of licensed premises: The great decline in the value of licensed property was instanced at Hungerford last week, when the free fully-licensed house kown as The Crown Brewery adjoining the Corn Exchange, was sold by auction under a deed of assignement. The auctioneer mentioned that in the past the house had twice changed hands at £3,000, and although at the present time the Brewing trade was down as low as ever it could get, he had no doubt that after the war there would be a keen revival, and anyone who speculated would get an ample return for their money. The bidding commenced at £500, and the property was knocked down at £1,000 to the trustees of the late J H Adnams, of the Speenhamland Brewery. At the same sale, two cottages facing the Hungerford Downs, producing £33 8s per annum, were sold for £380 and the adjoining house, let at £25, sold for £250, while a meadow and garden, also adjoining, of about one acre, was eventually sold for £125."
Various owners followed, including (in 1917) Joseph N. Day (of Newbury, auctioneer) and later the same year J. Mason, accountant, and Francis Mason Adnams, brewer, both of Newbury.
During the period 1917-36 it was owned by South Berks Brewery Company.
1917 (NH) Joseph N. Day (of Newbury, auctioneer)
1917 (NH) J. Mason, accountant, and Francis Mason Adnams, brewer, both of Newbury.
1917-36 (NH) Passed from Adnams to South Berks Brewery Company
1918 (T&M Register) Bessie Fullerton (occupier)
1920 (T&M Register) Frederick Ilsley (occupier)
c.1920-30 (NH) QR item no. 155: Permission granted to build on bay windows to Crown Brewery premises on west side of High Street, "late Elisha Love".
1924 (Kelly) Frederick Isley
1928 (Kelly) Frederick Isley
1928 (T&M Register) Charles Edward West (occupier)
1929 (T&M Register) Frederick Charles Whiteman (occupier)
1931 (Kelly) Geo F R James
Between c.1920-30 permission was granted to build on bay windows to Crown Brewery.
1932 (QR) Adnams (The Crown) "Alehouse formerly called The Angel formerly Collins afterwards Reeves then James Keen".
1931 (T&M Register) George F R James (occupier)
In 1932 it was owned by Adnams the brewers, but by 1938 it was owned by Lt. Col. V.R. Cotter, the property now being called "Crown House", it no longer being a licensed premises.
1933 (T&M Register) Herbert J Usher (occupier until 1934)
1937 (T&M Register) Vere Rogerson Cotter (owner & occupier)
1938 (NH) Owned by Lt. Col. V.R. Cotter: Property now called "Crown House". From this time to last document (1955), when it was still in possession of a Mrs. A.C. Cotter, all of it or parts were let off for various offices, including
- A butcher with a slaughter-house to the rear (1938).
- A front room to a chartered accountant (1939),
All three rooms on the ground floor to the Berkshire County Council as their surveyor's office (1947).
1939 (Blacket's) Co. V.R. Cotter, Crown House
1947 (CL) Col. Vere Rogerson Cotter
1948 (NH) The insurance policy of 1948 describes the building as being brick or stone built, roofed with slates or tiles, and a small part timber.
1949 (NH) In 1949 the ground floor, together with the first floor of a farmhouse at the rear of Crown House was let to an upholsterer.
Charles May, jeweller, clock repairs, c1950-c1971:
- In flat above: Col. & Mrs. Cotter
- Behind: Mattheson – surgical shoe maker. Later embroidery shop.
1952 (CL) Thomas Smith
1955 (NH) Crown House divided into 3 flats. The three ground floor rooms, which had been let to Berks CC, were now leased to Mr C.C. May, jeweller and clock repairer.
1956 (CL) Thomas Smith
1963 (CL) Annie Emily Cotter
1968 (CL) Charles Caleb May (Watchsmith)
1968 (T&M Register) Charls Caleb May (owner & occupier until 1971)
1970 (CL) Charles Caleb May (Watchsmith)
Roberts, estate agents, c1971-1978:
1972 (T&M Register) Marten Properties Ltd (owners until 1978)
1972 (T&M Register) Albert John West (occupier until 1976)
1976 (CL) Albert John West (deleted) David ..?.. (Estate Agents)
1977 (T&M Register) David Christopher Douglas Roberts (occupier)
Swift, Dry Cleaners, 1978-present:
1979 (T&M Register) Richard Percy Bordon-Smith (owner)
1983 (CL) Hugh Doel (Swift Cleaners)
1984 (CL) Hugh Doel
1985 (CL) Geoffrey Holdway Doel
2000 (CL) Geoffrey Holdway Doel
2005 (CL) Geoffrey Holdway Doel
2011 (CL) Geoffrey Holdway Doel
Dec 2017: Doel's sold business to a Bristol firm. Service mainained.