Ordnance Survey, 1862
Ordnance Survey, 1862

Map of Washington Village before construction of the Cross Keys public house. The area is quaint and rural, with only a few dwellings and buildings across the village. Though there were multiple collieries bordering the area at this time, it seems the boom did not filter to Washington at this time.

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Ordnance Survey, 1896
Ordnance Survey, 1896

At this point, the Cross Keys is clearly visible on the Village Green. The map shows a gradual development of Washington as a substantial settlement. Housing is built on the west side of the village while creeping northwards also.

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Ordnance Survey, 1862
Ordnance Survey, 1862

Map of Washington Village before construction of the Cross Keys public house. The area is quaint and rural, with only a few dwellings and buildings across the village. Though there were multiple collieries bordering the area at this time, it seems the boom did not filter to Washington at this time.

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Cross Keys, undated

Name: The Cross Keys

Region: Washington

Date of Origin: Pre 1826

Site Type: Public House

Condition: Extant

Status: Site still The Cross Keys Pub

Last Updated: 27/05/2020

The first recorded evidence of this small public house can be seen in a document from the Washington Association for the Prosecution of Felons in 1826, where a recorded meeting took place the property of Proudlock Moses in the vicinity of the Cross Keys. He was presumably the owner, and can be seen here being a resident of Washington throughout his life, passing away in Chester-le-Street. The meeting was held due to sheep stealing in the area.

Other than this fragment of history, it's hard to find more material for the life of the Cross Keys through the 19th and 20th centuries. There are many images featuring the Cross Keys as a centrepiece of Washington life through the 20th century, but little is known about this important meeting place in the village. It was clearly important due to its central location, and a staple of the area. 

If you have any more information and history about The Cross Keys, please contact us!

THE CROSS KEYS,

WASHINGTON