Failing our historic pubs

I’m well aware that our priority at present is to keep open
the pubs that are open. That said, let’s not forget those
parts of our pub and brewery heritage which are under
threat.

These thoughts were prompted by the announcement of
the Victorian Society’s list of Ten Most Endangered Buildings
for 2020. There were two buildings within our area of
interest and although neither of them are in London, I feel
that they are worth drawing to readers’ attention.

FORMER ANGLO-BAVARIAN BREWERY,
SHEPTON MALLET, SOMERSET

This Grade II*-listed building, dating from 1864, may have
been Britain’s first lager brewery, although originally it
brewed beer for export. It is one of many large brewery
buildings that were built following the 1830 Beerhouse Act,
which liberalised the brewing and sale of beer. Brewing
ended in 1939 and the site became a trading estate,
although only a small area is currently in use. The remaining
part is in a very poor condition and is on Historic England’s
Heritage at Risk register. Historic England are hoping to
work with the owners to avoid the site deteriorating beyond
the point of repair. List Entry Number: 1296561

THE CAPTAIN COOK PUB, MIDDLESBROUGH
NORTH YORKSHIRE

Photo (c) WhatPub / Cleveland CAMRA

This Grade II-listed building, dating from 1893, is, as a
plaque on its wall explains, named after the famous
explorer Captain Cook, who was born in nearby Marton. The
Jacobean style building also features the blackbird motif of
the local Vaux Brewery, from Sunderland. It was once
featured in the comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen, Pet but has
now stood empty and boarded up for ten years. It is,
predictably, in a poor state of repair although some
decorative features are still in place. List Entry Number: 1136730

If you want to find out more click on the list entry number to
see the full entry on the Historic England website. You can also see photos of this pair of magnificent buildings. The Captain Cook is also
on WhatPub.

As before, I have to ask how our planning system can allow
this to happen. There are sixteen pubs in London that are
on the Heritage at Risk register and I will report on these in
the next edition.
Tony Hedger