The Cross Key's Inn was one of the group of ecclesiastical inns near the Cathedral, the others being the Cardinals Hat (almost opposite), the Angel de la Trompe, The Mitre, and the Seven Stars, all of which have now gone. The Cross Keys did a large trade on market days till the end of the 19th century, but there were 30 licensed houses close around, and the Cross Keys, having had four tenants in 40 years, was the worst of the lot, and was closed about 1905.
The house was restored in 1910, when many old features were found under the plaster and centuries of wallpaper. The timbers were 'ships' timbers brought up the Severn, and in good condition. The room upstairs has a fine plaster ceiling of the Elizabethan period. The large stone fireplace has a very unusual feature for a domestic building, namely a squint or hagioscope. Behind the chimney, a number of bullets (Cromwell's 'Brown besses') were found, with numerous other historic discoveries in the large recesses of the stone walls of the cellars.
After the restoration in 1910, it became a coffee shop, and in the 1920s, the education office, the only one in the city., Now it is a Museum and has been since at least the 1980s.