The back to back cottages which made up Leeds Street and Turkey Street were built around 1820. When exactly The Brown Cow came into being is difficult, since many pubs came into existence as "beer houses" and had no need to have a proper name. However, it appears that at some point, four back to back cottages were knocked through to make the pub as it now stands.
The trade directory of 1870 has an entry of The Brown Cow 14 Cross Street, with John Robinson as the Inn Keeper.
The pub was bought by Taylor's brewery in 1901 and the photograph shows Martin Ford, the landlord at the time, stood outside the door with his two children.