The Three Cranes Inn
An original fifteenth century merchant’s townhouse stood on this site. The building would probably have consisted of three bays, with a ground floor and first floor. In the sixteenth/early seventeenth century, the owners of the building demolished the bay nearest High Street and built a box shaped extension on three floors, which they made into shops and living accommodation. The middle bay was reroofed and became the Three Cranes Inn, reached by a short passageway. At some point in the early twentieth century, the third bay at the rear was demolished to make an extension for retail storage.
As you walk into the building you are entering the space where two shops stood. At different times they were a stationer and a butchers occupying these shops. Bob Spendlove was a Rotherham character who ran a butchers shop here; the Brettel brothers, whose father was mentor to Ebenezer Elliott, were printers and stationers.
As you climb the stairs remember this is the sixteenth century addition. Notice the fire places on the first and second floor. Then on the first floor move into the original fifteenth century bay and look at the features that have been retained within the renovation. At the second floor level you can look out onto the roof of this central bay.
The building had been neglected for much of the twentieth century. Schemes to rescue it came and then fell by the wayside. Rotherham Civic Society started campaigning in 1994 under its Chairman, Stan Crowther.
Finally, in 2011, Chris Hamby bought it and employed specialists to ensure it had a future. With the help of grants from the Townscape Heritage Initiative, plans were put in place and the rescue began – just in time. A waterproof cover was made that covered the whole building and the timbers were left six months to dry out. Then the painstaking and expensive job of restoring and replacing began. A dedicated team worked together, solving problems as they went along and frequently consulting heritage specialists as they went along.
We, in Rotherham, are the beneficiaries of all this work. Our High Street looks, once again, as it should. The Rotherham District Civic Society would like to thank Chris Hamby and his construction team for their hard work and belief in the future of the town.