The waiting is finally over for pub goers and history buffs as Biggleswade’s iconic centrepiece prepares to open its doors next week.
Pub operator JD Wetherspoon is to re-open The Crown Hotel, on Tuesday with the creation of 75 new jobs.
The company has spent £2.7 million developing the outlet, on the site of the former Crown Hotel, in High Street.
It will be managed by Bogdan Huica.
The original grade II listed section of the building has been sensitively refurbished. To the rear there is a new single storey extension, housing the new bar and kitchen.
The present building replaced an earlier inn of the same name, which is thought to have dated back to before 1672.
The old Crown burned down in the ‘Great Fire of Biggleswade’, which started at the hotel on 16 June 1785. By c1793, the Crown had been rebuilt as a coaching inn.
A mosaic mural, part of a local government sponsored local history artwork project, depicting the Great Fire, as well as Samuel Pepys’ visit to the town, has been included in the yard of the pub. The final tile was put in place by Nora Balfe aged 96 who, with her late husband, was landlady of The Crown from
1962-1985. Nora will also officially open the new pub.
Historical photos and details of local history, as well as artwork and images of local scenes and characters of the area, are displayed in the pub. Sandra Ransom and Ken Page from Biggleswade History Society and Kirsty McGill from Bedfordshire Archives Service, helped with the display.
The artwork on display in the hotel bedrooms and hallways was produced by pupils from Stratton Upper School.