The Golden Cross is situated near an ancient crossroads known in 1838 as Harvington Cross. A document dated 1876 names a piece of land called Porters Elm Corner, suggesting an ancient elm tree - see below. The 1828-32 OS map (see under maps) does not indicate a building but by 1838 the tithe map depicts a property with outbuildings on the site therefore suggesting that the Golden Cross was built in the 1830s. The is also a small isolated building near to the Cross, was this a toll house?. The inn may have originally been built as a farmhouse by William Bennett. William Bennett is described in one of the Fairview deeds as the owner previous to Joseph Cale. The two (now one) attached cottages were thought to have been built circa 1840, both properties are of brick construction with dental work beneath the roofline. The furthest cottage was mostly demolished in 1881 to be replaced by Cross House.
The first owner of the building that we have knowledge of is William Bennett. By 1841 however the Golden Cross appears in the 1841 Census with Joseph Cale, aged 60 as the Publican. It is believed to have started as a cider house. It is also interesting to note that the Hop Pole Inn nearer to the village closed round about the same time. Although the deeds of the Golden Cross probably no longer exist, the deeds of 2 Fairview Cottages and Cross House give much useful and complex information on the Golden Cross and adjacent land.
Roger Siviter, of whom later, believes that the Golden Cross was named by the first innkeeper, was this William Bennet or Joseph Cale. The name was taken from the Golden Cross in Vine Street, Evesham, which had closed only to open again under the new name of the Royal Oak.
1838 Tithe Map.
In 1851 William Williams, the son in law of the above Joseph Cale was running the Golden Cross with his wife Sarah. William died in 1851.
According to the detailed deeds of Fairview Cottages George Shailer, the son of James Shailer, who ran the Coach and Horses from 1820 to 1841, purchased the Golden Cross on 7th May 1863 at an auction held at the 'Golden Cross'. Extract from the Fairview Deeds:-
All that messuage or tenement known by the name of the Golden Cross Inn with the stables brewhouse outhouses and other erections and buildings and the yards and garden thereunto adjoining and belonging which said messuage and buildings were erected and built upon part of a piece or parcel of land which was formerly part and parcel of a certain field or close of land called by the name of Hawkes Field or Hawkes Piece situate and being in the parish of Harvington in the County of Worcester heretofore in the occupation of Joseph Cale Williams, but now of the said George Shailer.
The above gives some nice detail of the Golden Cross in 1876 and also some background to the land upon which it stood. Another detail from the same document and immediately following on from the above is the description of a piece of land called 'Porters Elm Corner':-
And also All that piece or parcel of land or ground called Porters Elm Corner now and for many years past used as garden ground adjoining the last described premises and occupied therewith situate in the parish of Harvington aforesaid formerly in the occupation of William Bennett afterwards of Joseph Cale since of the said Joseph Cale Williams but now of the said George Shailer bounded on the East by the hereditaments hereinbefore described on the West by the Turnpike Road leading from Evesham to Alcester on the North by a piece of land of Mr George Malin and on the South by a road or land [lane] leading from Harvington aforesaid to the Lenches.
There was a tradition in medieval times of planting large named trees such as elm or oak on junctions to act as way markers, this is very likely to have been such a one. There are two long-gone elms near Cheltenham that spring to mind: Maud's Elm and Piff's Elm. Some thought has been taken to pin-point the exact location of Porter's Elm Corner. The description of the elm follows directly after the description of the Golden Cross with the comment 'adjoining'. The natural inclination is to position it on the corner of Village Street and the road to Alcester. The location in the document however is not as clear as it might have been.
from the Fairview Deeds dated 1880.
The above mentioned document of 1863 refers to a contract between Thomas Matthews and George Shailer, In the 1861 Census George Matthews is the publican of the Golden Cross, born Harvington, aged 31, with wife Mary aged 20. Thomas Matthews may have become the publican in 1856 when the previous publican William Williams died. William was the publican in 1851 and was the son-in-law of Joseph Cale, the publican back in 1841. William Williams probably took over when Joseph died in 1843. William Williams' son was Joseph Cale Williams, tailor of Harvington. There is a hint that William Bennett was the publican at some stage, all the above individuals appear in the 1876 document.
From 1881 onwards it appears that the Golden Cross was separated legally from Cross House.
In the 1881 Census William Marsh, Innkeeper, aged 47, born Broadway, with Mary his wife aged 46 born Willersley and children Agnes aged 21, born oxford and Herbert aged 20 born Oxford.
In the 1901 Census Charles Henry Tyack was the innkeeper with his wife Mary Ellen, five children.
A letter held by the Almonry in Evesham from Hilary Sinclair in 1984 states the following:-
The Vine Wine Bar, Vine Street, Evesham, May 2 1984
My grandfather, Charles Tyack took the Golden Cross Inn at Harvington in 1888. He and his wife Mary moved in a few days after their wedding on Christmas Day in that year. She was the daughter of a publican - her people kept the Golden Cross at Beoley, just outside Stratford on Avon and he was a farmer's son from Shelfield, near Aston Cantlow.
On his death, in about 1905, she took over the running of the pub, remaining there until just before the first world war.
She had five children of whom one of them, my father, Victor Tyack was the youngest son. He is now 89. The little girl being held in the picture is my aunt, Miss Elsie Tyack, who was their youngest child. She is also still alive and in her eighties.
From an old bill I have from Flowers Brewary they paid a total of £74 to go into the pub, £39 for fittings, £20 for stock and £15 for the licence.
The photo mentioned in the letter has not been found.
At some stage a single storey extension was added to the front along with a now missing balastrade. There are or were two cellars. The one at the front is still used but the rear one is believed to has been filled in. It had a well alongside it.
Charles Henry Tyack died in 1903 and his wife Mary ran it until 1906.
In the 1911 Census Samuel Coley was the Innkeeper. During WW1 he profited by the Defence of the Realm Act (Dora). There was a munitions factory at Redditch and owing to drunkenness, an Act was passed banning the sale of alcohol within 25 miles of the factory. The Golden Cross was just outside the limit so thereby profitting from visitors from the north.
Samuel Coley is standing between the doors, Edith Eliza Coley is standing in the doorway,
Reg Coley is the boy on left and one of the girls is Winifred.
Chris & Eileen behind the bar with
?. ?, Keith Millard, Cyril Plum (big John), Jack Kibble (sitting). From Wendy Clements New.
It was a Flowers Brewery pub, along with The Shakespeare and Harold Aston was its Landlord. It is not at present known when the brewery purchased the property.
In the 1939 and 1949 listings the Golden Cross was occupied by Harold and Annie Aston. They were followed by another publican for a short while.
Frank Leonard (Flash) Ash was the publican prior to the Siviters.
1982 - Roger Siviter took over the pub and he and his wife ran it for 11 years, during which time they callied out a lot of improvements. They purchased the attached Cross House and Golden Cross Cottage from the Brewery, see under those properties.
The Thompsons took over for 4 or 5 years.
After the Thompsons there have been a number of publicans.
Adrian and Sarah tried to make a go of it 2019 - February 2020
And Rob from 2020 to 2023.