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  The Three Crowns


The Three Crowns has stood on Northgate for almost 200 years; for almost 60 years from the early 1820s until c1880, it was licensed to the Turnell family. The earliest located reference is in Baines’ 1822 Directory, which lists the licensee as John Turnell; on his death in 1860, it passed to his widow, Anne, who was assisted by her daughter Annie as barmaid. By the mid-1870s, her son William had become licensee, however following his death in 1876, his widow, Hannah took over until c1880; Hannah was the last member of the Turnell family to hold the licence. 

During the early decades of the 19th century, several carrier services operated from the Three Crowns: these included James Ibbetson to Gainsborough, W & J Pettifer to Nottingham, London, and York, and John Doe to Worksop and Nottingham. In the mid-century, there is thought to have been a brewery in the Three Crowns Yard, but this has not been confirmed. 

The next licensee was George Gleadall, who was also a farmer of 30 acres; (at about the same time a George Gleadall was also trading as a ‘beerhouse keeper’ at the White Horse* on Sunderland Street, whether they are the same person has not been established). By the end of the decade, William Whinfrey, junior had taken over, however he was soon to be followed, at the beginning of the new century, by Henry Law, who was to remain at the Three Crowns for approximately the next 25 years.  

Henry was also a bicycle repairer and a sign outside advertised his services. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cycling had become a very popular pastime for both men and women; cycling clubs flourished throughout the country and there were several in the Doncaster area. A national organisation, the ‘Cyclist Touring Club’ had an arrangement with certain inns and public houses throughout the country, where club cyclists were welcome to stop for refreshments; the Three Crowns was one of these establishments, which were easily identified by the Cyclist Touring Club badge displayed outside.  

In the late1920s the licensee was Luke Kelly, by 1936, the local directories list him as a ‘coal merchant’ and no reference is made to the Three Crowns. 

The sign of the ‘three crowns’ has three possible derivations: it represents the Magi – the three kings; it relates to James l, the first king to rule England, Wales and Scotland, and it appears on the heraldic arms of the Worshipful Company of Drapers. Which one relates to the Tickhill inn is not known.


* See ‘Tickhill Beerhouses’ text on this website.

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