We’ve had a myriad of visitors to The Crown over the years, from William Penn in the 17th century, right through to the 21st century. Here are a selection of those you may be familiar with.
Terry Griffith, October 2013
Welsh snooker ace, Terry Griffith was a guest at The Crown in Wells Market Place in early October.
Terry won the World Championship in 1979, the Masters in 1980 and the UK Championship in 1982, making him one of seven players to have completed the snooker’s triple crown. He is now retired and a snooker coach and pundit.
“Terry stayed with us for three nights and was an absolute delight,” said Matthew Hailingbiggs, operations manager. “He kindly gave us a signed photo which we’re proud to add to our wall of fame in reception.”
Greg Davies, September, 2012
Comedian Greg Davies, stopped by at The Crown en route to Wells’ Long Paws Comedy Club on Sunday 16th September 2012.
Star of In Betweeners and We are Klang, as well as numerous television appearances including Would I Lie to You? Ask Rhod Gilbert, Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo, Greg was the headline act at the comedy club, at The Little Theatre in Wells, along with Marcel Lucont and MC Tiernan Douieb.
“Greg had been due to stay with us on Sunday but had a last minute change of plan,” said Sara Blair, marketing manager at The Crown. “It was a real pleasure to meet him and his presence at The Crown created a real buzz. Greg’s set at Long Paws was predominantly anecdotal, self-deprecating and achingly funny. The enjoyment he derives in delivering his stories is infectious.”
Best know as star of Father Ted and My Hero, as well as for his distinctive stand-up comedy, Ardal was in the City to appear at the Long Paws Comedy Club.
During his stay at The Crown, Ardal met-up with fellow countryman Tom Donnelly, who worked as a barman there and hails from the same region of Ireland, County Monaghan.
“Ardal was really nice and very friendly,” said Tom. “He asked me how I’d ended up in Wells and how I found it compared with back home.”
“Ardal is one of my comedy heroes. It was funny to meet him here in Wells when, for a time, we’d lived so close to one another in Monaghan,” Tom added.
Sean, who has been heralded as ‘one of the best stand-ups of his generation’, was headlining the Long Paws Comedy Club.
“It was a delight having Sean stay at The Crown,” said marketing manager, Sara Blair. “He was utterly charming and very funny; his set, at Long Paws Comedy Club, was just superb.”
Lord Coe kindly signed a copy of our menu.
He was incredibly charming, commenting on how much he enjoyed his meal with us.
Mr Cage graciously signed a menu for us to add to our hall of fame in reception.
A true star!
Kings of Comedy, Tim Minchin and Arthur Smith, May 2010
Two members of stand-up comedy ‘royalty’ stayed at The Crown at Wells following a sell-out gig at Long Paws Comedy Club on Sunday 30th May, 2010.
Arthur Smith and Tim Minchin, pictured, have all notched up an impressive catalogue of comedy performances; live on stage, as well as numerous appearances on radio and television. The pair have earned a well-deserved reputation as among the ‘best in the business’.
“It was a delight to have such great talent staying as our guests at The Crown,” said Matthew Hailingbiggs, general manager at the 15th century coaching inn. “It was amusing to see customers do a double take when Arthur and Tim were spotted in and around the building, particularly as they are such a distinctive looking pair,” he added.
Adam Buxton was joined by producer/director Garth Jennings. Adam’s usual co-presenter, Joe Cornish, was laid up unwell in bed at home and Garth stepped in to replace him.
The pair presented radio shows for the duration of the festival weekend, staying at The Crown between trips to the festival site in Pilton.
Adam Buxton is no stranger to Wells, starring as local journalist, Tim Messenger, in Hot Fuzz. Adam’s character met a particularly grisly end in the churchyard of Sandford.
Zoe Ball and Norman Cook (aka Fat Boy Slim), October, 2008
Anton’s Bistrot at The Crown in Wells Market Place welcomed DJ Norman Cook, also known as Fat Boy Slim, and his radio/television present wife, Zoe Ball for lunch on Sunday.
The celebrity couple, who live in Brighton, popped in on a whim to enjoy their meal at The Crown’s popular restaurant.
“We were very busy serving Sunday lunch but delighted they chose to dine with us and managed to find a table for them,” said manager at Anton’s Bistrot, Matthew Hailingbiggs. “They were very friendly and chatty, a real pleasure to serve. When they left, Zoë Ball said they had really enjoyed their meal and that they were grateful to us for managing to accommodate them during such a busy sitting.”
Zoë Ball and Norman Cook are no strangers to the area; they married at nearby Babington House in Frome and ‘Fat Boy Slim’ is a familiar face at the Glastonbury Festival each year.
Stephen Merchant and Steve Lamacq, June 2007
Two BBC Six Music radio presenters stayed at The Crown in Wells Market Place during this year’s Glastonbury Festival. Veteran DJ Steve Lamacq, who has a weekday programme, between 4pm and 7pm, stayed at The Crown from Thursday through to Sunday evening, as did Stephen Merchant, co-writer, co-director and star of The Office and Extras. The Steve Show, broadcast on Sunday between 3pm and 5pm, came direct from the festival.
“We received a ‘phone call from Stephen Merchant before he arrived on Thursday, asking if where he could get some waterproofs,” said Matthew Hailingbiggs, operations director at The Crown. “We were happy to go out and buy them on his behalf, so he had them on his arrival in Wells.”
Throughout his stay at The Crown, Stephen Merchant was described as “a true gentleman”; very friendly and polite to all concerned. He was very grateful to the duty night manager for providing sandwiches in the early hours when he and his crew arrived back from the festival on a couple of nights during his stay.
They dined with us in Anton’s Bistrot on both evenings.
Everyone who dealt with the Ross’ said they were all very friendly and a delightful family.
“We were pleased to receive extremely positive feedback from them, stating how much they had enjoyed their stay with us at The Crown,” said Matthew Hailing-Biggs, General Manager.
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and Edgar Wright, May 2006 and February 2007
Much of Hot Fuzz was filmed in Wells, with The Crown an integral part of the story and featuring in many of the background shots – we are The Crown at Sandford!
In February, 2007, a special ‘premiere’ was held in Wells and we were thrilled to welcome stars of Hot Fuzz, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with director Edgar Wright, back to The Crown for a meal in Anton’s Bistrot.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II June, 2006
Whilst her Majesty didn’t actually dine or stay with us, we were delighted when her car drew up outside The Crown during a visit to celebrate her Golden Jubilee.
Accompanied by Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, much of the royal couple’s visit was in and around the Market Place, enabling us to catch a bird’s eye view.