Many years ago, the triangle of land which is now wedged by Chelsea Road, Newbridge Hill and Newbridge Road was owned by Thomas Leir and his son John, who owned a large amount of land in this area. They were gentlemen farmers.
Between 1845 and 1878, they drew up plans to sell the land, which was a market garden with an inn called the Crown.
John Beavis was the inn keeper who lived with his wife Mary Anne and their two sons and daughters. In 1878, after the land was sold for £1850, the inn was demolished and a new Crown Inn was built, along with the ten villas at Newbridge Hill. It was a coaching inn between Bath and Bristol. On May 30th 1897, John Beavis bought the brand new Crown Inn for £649. He borrowed £504 with a mortgage to be repaid over 688 weeks (roughly 13 years) at a rate of £1 and 2 shillings per week.
Unfortunately, John died on 7th November 1897 (or 1879?) and Mary Anne took over the running of the inn and stables. John is buried in Locksbrook Cemetery but is he the ghost that has been sighted several times at the inn? There is also a child ghost with blonde curls that has been spotted several times but we have no idea who he is.
In October 1880, Mary Anne sold the New Crown Inn to Thomas Bright King but it seems the inn was still run by the Beavis family. Arthur, John and Mary Anne’s son, was landlord until 1886, when it was taken over by his son Arthur W Beavis. In 1891, Arthur W. bought the inn back and continued as landlord until 1903 when he sold it to William Withers and retired to 121 Newbridge Road where he lived until 1925. William Withers owned the Larkhall Inn and, in 1925, went into partnership as Pearce, Reynolds and Withers and, trading as The County Brewery, changed the name of The New Crown Inn to The Crown Brewery but it is not clear if brewing was actually done on the premises.
In 1911, The Crown Brewery was sold to Georges of Bristol and, in 1931, the name was reverted back. Courages brewery took over Georges in 1962 and the inn stayed as a Courage house until the late 1980’s when it was transferred to Ushers of Trowbridge. When Ushers ceased trading in the mid 1990’s The New Crown Inn was managed by the pub company Innspired Inns until 2005 when it was taken over by Punch Taverns, the largest pub company in the UK.