The Crosskeys

40 Grange Road, Ardnaglass, Portglenone, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Three comments


Imagine an old thatched coaching Inn, down a secluded leafy lane - that’s the Crosskeys, a lovely quiet spot for a session. I used to drive the 30 miles to her, there, & back, once a fortnight, the session was that good.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been down there since the roof was destroyed in a fire a while back. However, I do know that they have a new roof on her, & the sessions are back in full, regular swing.

That part of the country is full of super musicians, including loads of younger players, so a trip to the Crosskeys is sure to be a treat, but please phone first, cause it’s a long way out to it, from whichever direction your coming.

As for directions, they are a bit complicated. It’s one of those places you know yourself how to get to, but it’s hard to describe the route to anyone else, without a map & compass. (and ‘you wouldn’t want to start from here anyway, begora’!)
You need to be on the B52, ( the road not the aircraft, it’s not that isolated! ) that’s the Portglenone to Randalstown road, & take the turn off for New Ferry. At the first crossroads you come to, there it is, in splendid isolation.

True Story

About 20 years ago this was a regular haunt for a crowd of us Belfast musicians - and what a great wee spot. One Saturday night we headed for the Keys and were greeted with a superb session. Jeannie McGrath was in full flow on the piano vampin’ away to her hearts content.

Anyway the music was brilliant and the feet were tapping away on the floor and as the feet tapped the pints hopped. I watched intently as my pint jigged across the table towards me but the music was so good I couldn’t stop playing - next thing the pint covers my trousers in the most embarassing place and I had to spend the next half hour playing to the roaring fire until they dried out.

I got a few odd looks I can tell you!