The Crown has occupied its position in the Carfax since 1805, it is Grade II listed by English Heritage. Prior to that it was situated where Lloyds TSB is in West Street.
The Crown has a historical record being mentioned in 1744. A sewer was laid between the gaol (opposite Waitrose) and The Crown on the corner of West Street
The Crown underwent a considerable refit in June 2007 and can now be seen, of an evening, bathed in green light. The main photograph shows the scaffolding which was erected during the first tour of the Ferris Wheel.
The Crown once provided hotel and dining room facilities. This was revealed on the chimney breast at the rear behind the once-dishevelled ‘The Crown’ signage. With the sun at the right angle the text is just about legible; wines & spirits, hotel & dining rooms.
A close inspection of the aerial view reveals that The Crown is comprised of more than one building, as confirmed by English Heritage’s listing description. By zooming in on the view from Google Maps, it is clear that there are four buildings; three making up the Carfax frontage. A fourth, square, building fills in the gap and forms the boundary into Crown Alley.
English Heritage refers to the building as The Crown Inn although their photograph, taken in 2001, shows it as just The Crown. As recently as 1960 it was called The Crown Hotel, as can be seen in a Francis Frith image.