By Rowan Liptrot
UPPERMILL’S popular Cross Keys Inn has temporarily closed its doors for an extensive refurbishment.
Landlords Craig Wilkes and Dave Devine insist they will maintain the traditional country character of the inn, which is considered by many as a Saddleworth treasure and first opened as a tavern in 1763.
They revealed the refurbishment of the Grade 2 listed building, which is also in a conservation area, will include new furniture and re-plumbing and wiring of the property.
They said: “This refurbishment has been being dealt with including design etc for two and 1/2 years.
“We love this building and what it’s history stands for. We are using real aged dark oak for bar and also restoring things that have been hidden for many years.
“The Cross Keys will always remain a traditional country inn, welcoming walkers, dogs and local groups as it always has, with real home cooked food as always.
“The main thing is we will have new furniture as most won’t realise all this is down to re-plumbing and wiring.
“We hope this helps anyone who has doubts we would ruin one of the treasures of Saddleworth.”
Meantime, the pub is open in the barn with a full drinks range for anyone who would like to call in.
The response on social media to the works has been positive, with locals excited by the refurbishment but with a general worry to protect the inn’s heritage still present.
Responding to the news on Facebook, one local posted: “Hope it goes well. You’ve done wonders with the place since you have been there. Looking forward to seeing the result.”
Another added: “Can’t wait to see the transformation”.
The Cross Keys currently attracts a wide range of locals, from dog walkers to local groups, with the Oldham Mountain Rescue Association holding its regular meetings in the barn.
Last year, they were crowed ‘Beer Ambassador of the Year’ by JW Lees brewery for a second time thanks to their extensive, mouth-watering range of ales and lagers on offer.
Visit the Cross Keys Inn at Running Hill Gate, Uppermill, OL3 6LW or find out more on their website: http://crosskeysinn.co.uk