Historic pubs listings strengthened

Ibring you news of more excellent work by CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group. At PHG’s instigation, Historic England have advised the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to make some important changes to the status of a number of listed pubs.

The magnificent Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool (36 Hope Street L1 9BX) has been upgraded to Grade I, the first purpose-built Victorian pub in England to be given this status. Only 2.5% of listed buildings have Grade I status. It is well merited.

Ten other pubs have had their listing descriptions expanded to include details of their interiors and fittings. Previously, many descriptions, some dating back to the 1960s and 1970s, were short, with little or no mention of the interiors and, as a consequence, many valuable interiors have been lost. This applies to the two London pubs mentioned below and we are lucky that they have survived. With the improved descriptions, local authorities can now protect them. Heritage England are looking to revise all listing descriptions but it will be a slow job because of a lack of resources.

There are eight outside London (all Grade II* or Grade II), as follows:

The Vines, Liverpool (81 Lime Street L1 1JQ);
Peter Kavanagh’s, Liverpool (2-6 Egerton Street L8 7LY);
Blue Ship (#), Billingshurst, West Sussex (The Haven RH14 9BS);
Square and Compass (#), Worth Matravers, Dorset (Weston Road BH19 3LF);
Rose and Crown (#), Huish Episcopi, Somerset (Langport TA10 9QT);
Tucker’s Grave Inn (#), Radstock, Somerset (Faulkland BA3 5XF);
Haunch of Venison, Salisbury, Wiltshire (1 Minster Street SP1 1TB);
Red Lion, Rugeley, Staffordshire (19 Market Street WS15 2JH).

Four of these (marked #) have no bar, with beer being served through a hatch or direct from the stillage.

As regards the two pubs in London, readers will recall that in the last edition there was an appeal for information about the Coach & Horses in Greek Street, Soho (W1F 7HG). The pub’s Grade II listing now references its recent history (Jeffrey Bernard, Private Eye and all) and the original early 18th-century building. The present building dates from the 1840s but had its unusual cast-iron columns added in 1889. The interior was remodelled in the 1930s by Taylor, Walker & Co and its bar fittings, signage and partition screens have all survived well. As we go to press however, it was reported in Time Out that the Wednesday night sing-alongs were ending. The Saturday night ones continue (7.30pm to 11pm).

Coach & Horses servery
Coach & Horses interior

The other London pub is the Hand & Shears in Middle Street, Smithfield (EC1A 7JA). Dating from the mid-19th century, this Grade II listed gem still has its Victorian layout of public, saloon and private bars and retains many late 19th century fittings. The pub has historical links to the medieval Bartholomew Fair. Paul Ainsworth, Chairman of CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group, commented, “So few of England’s 40,500 pubs retain interiors which have not suffered major alterations over the years. CAMRA has identified 280 pubs whose interiors it considers to be of national historic importance, and we feel it is vital for these precious survivors to be preserved for future generations to enjoy. The majority of these pubs are listed and the new detailed listing descriptions will enhance their protected status and give the public more information about the delights they contain.”

Hand & Shears left and front bars
Hand & Shears private bar

The Chief Executive of Historic England, Duncan Wilson, added, “English pubs are some of our best-loved community buildings and are often threatened with closure, so we are delighted to see 11 historic pubs receiving further protection. We are proud that the Liverpool Philharmonic pub, a remarkable survival from the Victorian era, has been given a Grade I listing which will help maintain and preserve its outstanding interior fittings and exterior fabric for the future. The eleven pubs range from the opulent Philharmonic in Liverpool and the picturesque Rose & Crown in Somerset, to a London pub with links to Bartholomew Fair. All of them fully deserve the protection given by listing.

Tony Hedger

(From a CAMRA press release and other sources and with thanks to Michael Slaughter LRPS for the photos and additional information.)