Baker's Cross

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Baker's Cross
Baker's Cross is located in Kent
Baker's Cross
Baker's Cross
 Baker's Cross shown within Kent
OS grid reference TQ7835
District Tunbridge Wells
Shire county Kent
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TN17
Dialling code 01580
Police Kent
Fire Kent
Ambulance South East Coast
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Maidstone and The Weald
List of places

Coordinates: 51°05′N 0°32′E / 51.08°N 00.54°E / 51.08; 00.54

Baker's Cross is a settlement in Kent, England. It is part of the village of Cranbrook, situated on the eastern edge of the village.

"Bloody Baker" legend[edit]

Legend links John Baker, Chancellor of the Exchequer under Queen Mary, and known locally within The Weald as "Bloody Baker", to Baker's Cross.[1][2][3]

Legend firstly holds that he was riding on his way to Cranbrook, in order to have two local Protestants executed upon order of the Privy Council, when the news reached him (various versions of the legend having it that he heard the parish church bells ringing, or that he was met by a messenger) that Queen Mary was dead, and he turned back. The place where this happened was, in the words of biographer and historian Arthur Irwin Dasent, "at a place where three roads meet, known to this day as Baker's Cross".[1][2][3][4]

Popular legend also has it that Baker was killed at Baker's Cross; although in fact he died in his house in London.[5][6]


The Tooth family of Great Swifts, near Cranbrook, established a brewery at Baker's Cross. A large part of their trade was the export of beer to Australia. Subsequently, John Tooth emigrated to Australia in the early 1830s, traded for a time as a general merchant, and then in 1835, with a his brother-in-law, John Newnham, opened a brewery in Sydney. He named the brewery Kent Brewery, which continued to 1985. meanwhile, the brewery at Cranbrook had been sold to one William Barling Sharpe, whose daughter had married the local estate agent, William Winch.

The brewery Sharpe & Winch was established in Baker's Cross at some point prior to 1846 by William Barling Sharpe (who is buried with his wife, Ann, in the cemetery at Westwell, and his daughter, Elizabeth Louisa, who married William Francis Winch). The brewery assumed the name Sharpe & Winch in 1892, and was purchased and taken over by Frederick Leney & Sons Ltd, a Wateringbury company, in 1927.[7][8][9][10] The brewery were responsible for the mock-Tutor extension to the 18th century Baker's Cross House (a Grade II listed building).[11][12]


  1. ^ a b Dasent 1911, pp. 130
  2. ^ a b NQ 1859, pp. 142
  3. ^ a b Westwood 1985, pp. 85
  4. ^ ACHS 1969, pp. 7
  5. ^ King 1868, pp. 240
  6. ^ Cook 1882, pp. 475
  7. ^ Barber 1994, pp. 44
  8. ^ Richmond & Turton 1990, pp. 209
  9. ^ Barling, Pat. "Barling Family — Egerton branch". Retrieved 2010-10-17. 
  10. ^ Duncan 1920, Plot #41
  11. ^ Flanders 1984, pp. 184–185
  12. ^ "Baker's Cross House". British Listed Buildings. Retrieved 2010-10-17. 

Reference bibliography[edit]

  • The magazine of Albemarle County history. Virginia: Albemarle County Historical Society. 26. 1969.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  • Barber, Norman (1994). A century of British brewers, 1890–1990. Brewery History Society. ISBN 978-1-873966-04-4. 
  • Cook, Joel (1882). England, picturesque and descriptive: A reminiscence of foreign travel. Philadelphia: Porter and Coates. 
  • Dasent, Arthur Irwin (1911). The speakers of the House of Commons from the earliest times to the present day. London: John Lane. 
  • Duncan, Leland L. (September 1920). The Monumental Inscriptions in The Church and Churchyard of Westwell, Kent. Christine Pantrey, transcriber, Zena Bamping, checker (republished 2001,2007 ed.). Kent Archaeological Society. 
  • Flanders, Dennis (1984). "Baker's Cross House, Cranbrook, Kent". Dennis Flanders' Britannia. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-85362-206-2. 
  • King, Richard John (1868). "The Weald". A handbook for travellers in Kent and Sussex (3rd ed.). London: John Murray. 
  • "Legend of Sir Richard Baker". Choice Notes from "Notes and Queries": Folk lore. London: Bell and Daldy. 1859. 
  • Richmond, Lesley; Turton, Alison (1990). The Brewing industry: a guide to historical records. Studies in British business archives. 1. Manchester University Press. ISBN 978-0-7190-3032-1. 
  • Westwood, Jennifer (1985). Albion: a guide to legendary Britain. Granada. ISBN 978-0-246-11789-2. 

Further reading[edit]