The only pub in the UK built in a graveyard
Handsworth is a small suburb in the outskirts of Sheffield, South Yorkshire and is home to the only pub in the UK that is built in a graveyard, less than 5 minutes from where I’m staying.
I first discovered about this pub a couple of weeks ago, whilst I was out in Handsworth looking for a local story to work on for one of my assignments. The manager of the local off-license store just next door to the Cross Keys, began telling me about this pub that is situated in the grounds of a cemetery which immediately sparked my interest.
I went home and did a bit more research on the history of the Cross Keys pub which was actually a church house built in the 13th century and was used by the chaplain and other clergy of St Mary’s Church. After the 16th century, the church house became a school before finally being converted into a pub in 1823.
After doing more research, my mind was still full of questions that I wanted answers to; Is the Cross Keys pub haunted? Are ghosts even real? As a christian, I don’t really acknowledge the existence or presence of ghosts but this story had so much potential that I put aside my fears and just went in with an open-mind to the scary, personal experiences in that pub.
Earlier this week, I went into the Cross Keys for the first time where I met the manager/owner, Collin who has had the pub for about 11 years now and runs it with his son and daughter as it is now a family owned business. They were all very welcoming and gave me a little tour around the pub which was literally surrounded by headstones in the cemetery of St Mary’s church.
After speaking to Collin, in less than 5 minutes I was convinced that the pub was haunted and even though it was in the middle of the day, the stories that Collin told me really had me spooked. Even in a picture on the wall, you could see what looked like an apparition which just sent shivers through my body.
Collin told me about a ghost-like figure which is seen walking through the front bar of the pub at night very often. He also told me about a ghost that he sees sitting in the back room every other day or so who he calls Mary, the name of one of the pubs landlords from years ago and says that if you’re ‘lucky’ between 10pm and midnight, you’ll start to really feel the atmosphere in the whole pub change and you may be joined by uninvited guests. I was even shown some of the headstones at the back of the building which come right up to the walls of the pub.
So the ‘last order’ of this story is, ghosts might actually be real. Although I didn’t see any while I was there, the stories are very believable and the atmosphere of being inside the pub is noticeably different.
I did get some really good audio including the interview with Collin that I would’ve loved for you to hear but unfortunately I’m unable to upload any audio media at the moment.
This story will be re-posted as soon as I am able to upload with audio, until then I hope you enjoyed reading, share and stay tuned!