Many locals know that the house now known as Adair Cottage was once Redlingfield’s village pub.
The earliest reference I have found to the Crown is in a trade directory for 1858, then the 1861 census lists James Harvey, victualler, Crown Inn.
We can go back a little further with the property which appears on the 1839 Tithe Map. Two plots are shown on the site, plot 73 a cottage and garden owned and occupied by James Harvey (born in 1779) and plot 74 a cottage, garden and shop owned by the same James Harvey and occupied by his son James Harvey Jnr (born1805).
The 1841 census shows James Jnr as a butcher. At this time local miller William Roe kept a beerhouse elsewhere in the village. By 1851 James Jnr was a dealer in tea and coffee.
In 1861 the Crown was named on a census for the first time. By 1871 James Jnr had become a miller, his brother Benjamin Harvey appears on the census as inn keeper and agricultural labourer. Benjamin had a son James (born about 1846) living with him at the Crown.
In March 1876, the Ipswich Journal carried a report of the auction of the business of Charles Farrow, who was retiring. This took place at the King’s Head Hotel in Diss. A brewery with 35 inns and pubs in Norfolk and Suffolk was for sale in separate lots. The Crown was lot 43. “A full licensed inn with stable, shed and yard held by Mr. Benjamin Harvey”. There were two firms of auctioneers – Messrs. Lenny and Smith, Halesworth and Messrs. Elliott, Son and Muskett, Diss. “After a liberal luncheon Mr. Lenny opened the sale. Mr. H.W. Aldrich asked if the whole business could be put up as one lot. Mr. Lenny replied that it could if anyone was prepared to offer the sum required, £28,000 to £30,000. A gentleman arose and offered the latter sum. After about two minutes (a pause for any other bids) the lot was knocked down to purchasers Messrs. Young, Crawshay and Co. of Norwich.”
Somewhere between 1839 and 1876 the Harvey family gave up ownership but not occupation.
A directory for 1879 names James Harvey (son of Benjamin) as inn keeper at the Crown but by 1881 William Bullingham was dealer and inn keeper at the Crown Inn, ending the Harvey’s connection with the premises. A newspaper article tells us that William Bullingham was fined £5 with costs of 13s 6d for: “Having his house open for the sale of intoxicating liquors out of hours on May 21st 1881”. This crime was detected by PC Parnell who saw a light on in the cellar. Those imbibing after hours were farmer Walter Howes, shoemaker William Hawes and his apprentice Edward Bond. All had fines or costs to pay.
In October 1883, there was a newspaper report about Frederick Rose being drunk and disorderly and refusing to leave the pub. He attempted to strike Walter Deering, landlord, when asked to leave. He had arrived the worse for drink. Frederick was fined 12s or 10 days. He paid his fine.
In February 1885 labourer John Lawes was charged by Walter Dearing with similar behaviour but with no mention of attempting to strike the landlord. He paid 2s 6d fine and 9s 6d costs remarking that it was: “A dear pleasure.”
John Bridges was named as landlord of the Crown in a report from July 1887. A fish-hawker, late of Great Yarmouth, was charged with willful damage having thrown a mug of beer out of the door of the pub into the road whereupon the mug, valued at four pence ha’penny, broke.
William E Gray was licensed victualler at the Crown Inn on the 1891 census and so begins a more settled period for the pub. A directory of the same time lists him as Crown Inn and shopkeeper, 1901 census as innkeeper and pork butcher, 1904 directory public house and overseer, then public house and assistant overseer in1908. This description is repeated through to 1916. William Edward Gray died in 1917. Mrs Gray continued as licensee until 1937 according to the directory for that year. In fact Mrs. Maria Gray died in 1934 and was buried beside her husband in Redlingfield churchyard.
The 1939 register lists Redvers Abbott as innkeeper and farm labourer, his wife’s name Marjorie, also appears.
The Crown was popular with the American service-men from Horham airbase during the second world war.
However by 1967 declining trade led to the closure and sale of the property by the brewery, which I believe was Bullards of Norwich. Some residents of the village remember “Buller” Abbott as the landlord. This could be Redvers as he would have been 67 at this time.
The premises were bought and converted back to a dwelling by Audrey and Robert Dixon who named it Adair Cottage, because Redlingfield had been part of the Adair family estate. In 2006 the property became home to the Snowling family, undergoing substantial alterations.
Hazel Abbott remembers the pub as a dark place with a room for the ladies on one side of a passageway and one for the gentlemen on the other.
Linda Hudson (Published in Athelington, Horham & Redlingfield News Summer 2018 issue No 49).