The History of New Cross Inn

Recently the events team were contacted by someone who had an interesting claim: her great grandfather had apparently been a previous owner of the New Cross Inn. Jen Sadler, who now lives in Australia, had been doing some digging into her family history, and during her research into the 1910 Census it was discovered that her great grandfather, one William Robinson, was in fact the publican at the New Cross Inn in 1910; his family migrated to Australia in 1913, but Robinson stayed behind until 1917. [1] On the rest of the census form, the names of all the bar-workers at the time can also be seen, which is a snazzy little glimpse of life in the past that you don’t often get to see.

william robinson

Consequently, this information sparked off a wave of research into the history of the venue, which turned up some pretty interesting nuggets of information. For a start, the New Cross Inn has been so named for a long time, since the late 1600s in fact, as Samuel Pepys (of diary-writing and cheese-burying fame) referred to it by name in 1675; before this point, it was known as the Gold Cross Inn. [2] Furthermore, it appears that it was not all that popular with the historical German air forces, as the pub was hit by a zeppelin in the First World War and then again by the Luftwaffe in the Second World War. [3, 4] It’s always cool to find out something new about London, and it’s extra-cool to know that the New Cross Inn is a long-standing part of the area’s history (even if it is mainly for being unlucky during air-raids!). We’re very grateful to Jen for getting in touch with us, as all this history would have remained unknown to us without her input.

One Comment

  1. I am also doing family research for my friend and her great grandfather was land lord/ innkeeper New Cross House on 1891 census name John Lees and Mary Lees his wife don’t yet know how long they were there. They were both from Oldham Lancs


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