Sun Inn, Cross Church Street, Huddersfield
- location: Cross Church Street, Huddersfield
- listed in: Baines (1822)
- status: still exists
- category: public house, beerhouse, inn, etc.
- notes: now "Herbert's Bar"
On 4 November 1900, a servant at the inn woke up around 6am and noticed the smell of fire. She roused the rest of the occupants and they alerted the fire brigade. The fire had started in the cellar and was brought under control within 20 minutes, causing around £200 in damage.
Discovering Old Huddersfield
Extract from Discovering Old Huddersfield (1993-2002) by Gordon & Enid Minter:
Next door to the White Lion, the Sun Inn was less imposing than its neighbour and remained so until 1890 when its owners, Messrs Seth Senior & Sons of Highfield Brewery, Shepley, decided to rebuild the inn and extend it to include a wine store, shop, order offices and, in the yard behind, a bottling store. Plans for the new building, designed by W. Cooper of Lord Street, were approved on 10th April 1890 and subsequently the two shops adjoining the inn were pulled down, the plan being to build the shop and office block before tackling the inn. As a safety measure substantial timber shoring was erected to prop up the side of the inn over the passage leading to the yard.
At about 2.45a.m. on 15th April 1891, Police Constable Binns, on duty in Cross Church Street, heard a loud crack and saw some plaster falling from the underdrawing of the passage. Binns, described by the Examiner as an intelligent officer, immediately roused the occupants, Mr. M.T. Suthers, landlord, his wife and four servants and supervised their exit into the back yard. Immediately after their hasty escape the end of the building collapsed outwards and fell into the basement of the new building on the adjoining site. By the light of day the scene was described as a chaotic spectacle with curtains, pictures, carpets and clothing hanging from the ruin and iron bedsteads, bedding, furniture and floorboards piled in a jumbled heap in the street. The architect and contractor were early on the scene to supervise salvage operations and to make safe the front wall which it was thought might fall at any minute.
Because of the prompt actions of P.C. Binns no lives were lost or injuries sustained. Work on the new buildings continued resulting in the impressive facade, still to be seen, with its central turret, twin gables, ornate carvings and stone finials. The gables, whether by accident or design made the new Sun Inn as tall as the White Lion. Identical carvings at the top of the gables represent the rising (or setting) sun. Lower down in each gable is a carved stone roundel, that over the Sun Inn depicting, appropriately enough, a sun in splendour. The other, only recently cleaned, depicts a sovereign of King George IV dated 1829. This was a mystery until we discovered that Seth Senior founded his brewing business with, it is said, a borrowed sovereign at the Sovereign Inn, Shepley in 1829.
Of the once extensive Sun Inn Yard, only the passage now remains. The gates at the entrance are contemporary with the 1890 rebuilding as are the cast iron wall protectors and wheel stones. Apart from a bottling store the only buildings in the interior of the yard were stable blocks and cart stores which, as we can find no record, after the rebuilding, of outside carriers with a Sun Inn Yard address, were presumably used to house Senior's horses and drays.
Notes and References
- "Narrow Escape of a Huddersfield Family" in Yorkshire Post (05/Nov/1900).