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Raise a Pint to These 19 English Pubs, Just Listed for Historic Preservation

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Historic England, a preservation agency of the British government tasked with preserving the country's architectural heritage, has numerous historic cathedrals, modernist marvels and noteworthy buildings that need its attention. But, as its recent move to list historic pubs across the country shows, important architecture is in the eye of the beholder (or drinker). These structures, constructed during the interwar period and evidence of a neo-Georgian or neo-Tudor design aesthetic, sought to reinvent and celebrate Englishness, and stood in quiet protest to the march of Modernist and Art Deco design that's normally the focus of preservation efforts. They're representative of a high point in British pub culture, a period when owners sought to move away from the Victorian era and project a bit more sophistication (and invite women in for a pint or two). While changes in drinking habits and cultural trends have led to a decrease in the number of pubs across the country since then (an apex of 69,000 pubs in the '80s has fallen to 48,000 now), the craft beer movement, as well as increased recognition of the cultural value of these drinking establishments, has started to turn the tide. Raise a pint and take a take a look at some of these buildings, which, even more than other historic structures, have plenty of stories to tell.


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The Black Horse

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Opened in 1929 at the site of a previous pub, the Black Horse was Designed by Francis Goldsbrough for the John Davenport & Sons brewery, which had moderate success with a "Beer at Home" delivery service in the early 20th century. The classic pub contains original stone and wood carvings, but has undergone a series of renovations, including the addition of a bar in what was once the Gentlemen’s Smoking Room.

The Berkeley Hotel

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A two-story brick hotel and bar with a red brick façade and chimney, this looks much too refined to be considered a roadhouse. In addition to the Art Deco flourishes inside, including a fanned staircase landing and ballroom, the building, which opened in 1940, came about through a unique partnership. Landowner Mrs. Edith Kennedy collaborated with Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, selling them the property and even designing the entire interior, which remains mostly intact to this day.

The Daylight Inn

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With a logo that looks like it was lifted from a tarot card, this neo-Tudor building from 1935 was the work of Sidney C. Clark, lead architect of Charrington's Brewery. Listed due to an abundance of classic touches such as exposed oak beams, brick fireplaces and twisted columns, the pub was named after William Willett, the man who pushed to introduce daylight savings time (and great-great-grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin). It's a fitting honor considering the bar's beer garden.

The Duke William

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A public house has stood on this site since 1818, so the Duke William, built in 1929 in a style reminiscent of a Tudor town hall, is just the latest to occupy the corner. Facing St. John’s Square, the building boasts terrazzo flooring, glazed screenwork, a central service island and an off-sales area that still survives to this day. For a period in the ‘80s, the Duke became an unlikely jazz venue, hosting legends such as Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis.

The Wheatsheaf

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Evidently, the temperance protestors who lectured drinkers about the evils of beer at the bar’s 1938 opening weren’t very convincing. Built for the Greenall Whitley & Co. in a semi-rural mining town, the Wheatsheaf has stood for decades as a local watering hole and meeting place. “Bar Parlour,” “Buffet” and “Smoke Room” are etched into wooden doors and glass panels around the venue, suggesting this is a place to settle down and get comfortable.

The Gatehouse

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Historic manors and castle keeps rarely looked as comfortable as this 1934 pub built on the outer ring road of Norwich, which has old-world charm and an outdoor garden that stretches down to the River Wensum. Constructed in 1934 by Morgans Brewery in an Arts and Crafts/Neo-Tudor style, the old regular has a series of glass panels that supposedly relate to the Bayeux Tapestry.

Brookhill Tavern

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No longer in operation, having closed after being sold in 2012, the Brookhill was built in 1928 in the then fast-growing Alum Rock area of Birmingham. The two-story structure is finished in hand-cast brown bricks, and once had a huge garden to attract patrons.

The White Hart

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One of the few remnants of the surrounding “high street” that has been demolished and redeveloped, the White Hart was built in 1938 for Charrington’s Brewery and replaces an 18th century building on site. It s claim to fame is a massive oak bar that runs through five different run.

Biggin Hall Hotel

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Designed in 1921 by Thomas Francis Tickner, a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in a style meant to recall merry olde England, you’d think the pub would already exude a certain level of respectability. But the owners decided to call it a hotel, despite not offering overnight accommodation, in a bid to add a bit more class.

The Angel

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Originally a coachman’s inn serving a carriage route between London and Oxford, this public house was rebuilt in 1926 by Fuller’s Brewery. The improved new bar featured separate lounges and dining rooms, as well as a Mason’s Room used by the local Masonic lodge.

The Stag's Head

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Designed in 1936 by Arthur Edward Sewell, one of the leading pub architect’s in his day, this urban pub has a relatively unremarkable exterior that conceals a true time capsule of an interior. Guests who pull up a stool at the curved, wood-paneled public bar can rest their feet on a brass rail decorated with a layer of checkered cream-and-brown tile. Original Truman’s Brewery signage and mirrors maintain a suitably retro vibe.

The Royal Oak

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The Royal Oak offers a quaint setting for a Sunday pint, since its the setting for the regular Columbia Road Flower market that takes place on the streets outside its front door. That weekly sale is one of the reasons this is an early pub that serves sellers starting at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Another work by prolific pub designer Arthur Edward Sewell, who designed this building for Truman’s Brewery in 1923 (see the preserved sign above the main entrance), the bar boasts Vitrolite ceilings, an old type of synthetic marble. It also served as a backdrop for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

The Rose and Crown

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Another A.E. Sewell gem in London, the Rose and Crown could be considered a template for historic bar design. All the traditional touches found at Truman’s pub from this era are inside: shiny white Vitrolite ceilings, checkered tiling and brass rails, and original wood-paneled bars.

The Golden Heart

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One of Arthur Edward Sewell’s many projects for Truman’s in the ‘30s, this pub was a local on the brewery’s home turf, a flagship near the company’s Black Eagle Brewery and nearby bottle plant on Hanbury Street. Built on the site of an early 19th century pub once called the Golden Harp, the bar became a bit of a muse in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when members of the Britart movement began congregating inside, part of a recent cultural boom in the Spitalfields area.

The Station

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One of the biggest projects undertaken by Truman’s brewery, this massive pub, opened in 1935, was meant to serve the then-booming London suburb of Stoneleigh (it’s near the local rail station, 11 mile from the city center). The original layout included multiple bars, as well as a billiards room, social hall and saloon lounge.

Duke of Edinburgh

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The bulky, red-brick Duke of Edinburgh still contains a billiard table, a remnant of the games room that provided entertainment for bar-goers when the pub opened in 1937. The interior boasts a long, continuous bar and many of the historic fixtures common to Truman’s bars.

Army and Navy

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Built in 1936, this historic drinking establishment sits about a mile away from the Rose and Crown, another Truman's pub, and has a very similar interior.

Palm Tree

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The Palm Tree is a fully functioning bit of history, with images of yesterday's celebrities and an oval-shaped bar providing a throwback experience when you want to throw back a few in Mile End.

Bedford Hotel

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This grand old bar has a colorful history beyond its decades of service to drinkers. In the late 19th century, the venue’s upper level served as the location of an inquest into the death of Charles Bravo, a Victorian lawyer whose unsolved murder is still being poured over to this day. In addition, the pub played host to early gigs by U2 and the Clash. The interior is equally as engaging. An improbable, fake Globe Theatre sits at the rear of the pub, and the domed ceiling is covered in heraldic symbols and shields.

The Black Horse

Opened in 1929 at the site of a previous pub, the Black Horse was Designed by Francis Goldsbrough for the John Davenport & Sons brewery, which had moderate success with a "Beer at Home" delivery service in the early 20th century. The classic pub contains original stone and wood carvings, but has undergone a series of renovations, including the addition of a bar in what was once the Gentlemen’s Smoking Room.

The Berkeley Hotel

A two-story brick hotel and bar with a red brick façade and chimney, this looks much too refined to be considered a roadhouse. In addition to the Art Deco flourishes inside, including a fanned staircase landing and ballroom, the building, which opened in 1940, came about through a unique partnership. Landowner Mrs. Edith Kennedy collaborated with Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery, selling them the property and even designing the entire interior, which remains mostly intact to this day.

The Daylight Inn

With a logo that looks like it was lifted from a tarot card, this neo-Tudor building from 1935 was the work of Sidney C. Clark, lead architect of Charrington's Brewery. Listed due to an abundance of classic touches such as exposed oak beams, brick fireplaces and twisted columns, the pub was named after William Willett, the man who pushed to introduce daylight savings time (and great-great-grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin). It's a fitting honor considering the bar's beer garden.

The Duke William

A public house has stood on this site since 1818, so the Duke William, built in 1929 in a style reminiscent of a Tudor town hall, is just the latest to occupy the corner. Facing St. John’s Square, the building boasts terrazzo flooring, glazed screenwork, a central service island and an off-sales area that still survives to this day. For a period in the ‘80s, the Duke became an unlikely jazz venue, hosting legends such as Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis.

The Wheatsheaf

Evidently, the temperance protestors who lectured drinkers about the evils of beer at the bar’s 1938 opening weren’t very convincing. Built for the Greenall Whitley & Co. in a semi-rural mining town, the Wheatsheaf has stood for decades as a local watering hole and meeting place. “Bar Parlour,” “Buffet” and “Smoke Room” are etched into wooden doors and glass panels around the venue, suggesting this is a place to settle down and get comfortable.

The Gatehouse

Historic manors and castle keeps rarely looked as comfortable as this 1934 pub built on the outer ring road of Norwich, which has old-world charm and an outdoor garden that stretches down to the River Wensum. Constructed in 1934 by Morgans Brewery in an Arts and Crafts/Neo-Tudor style, the old regular has a series of glass panels that supposedly relate to the Bayeux Tapestry.

Brookhill Tavern

No longer in operation, having closed after being sold in 2012, the Brookhill was built in 1928 in the then fast-growing Alum Rock area of Birmingham. The two-story structure is finished in hand-cast brown bricks, and once had a huge garden to attract patrons.

The White Hart

One of the few remnants of the surrounding “high street” that has been demolished and redeveloped, the White Hart was built in 1938 for Charrington’s Brewery and replaces an 18th century building on site. It s claim to fame is a massive oak bar that runs through five different run.

Biggin Hall Hotel

Designed in 1921 by Thomas Francis Tickner, a fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, in a style meant to recall merry olde England, you’d think the pub would already exude a certain level of respectability. But the owners decided to call it a hotel, despite not offering overnight accommodation, in a bid to add a bit more class.

The Angel

Originally a coachman’s inn serving a carriage route between London and Oxford, this public house was rebuilt in 1926 by Fuller’s Brewery. The improved new bar featured separate lounges and dining rooms, as well as a Mason’s Room used by the local Masonic lodge.

The Stag's Head

Designed in 1936 by Arthur Edward Sewell, one of the leading pub architect’s in his day, this urban pub has a relatively unremarkable exterior that conceals a true time capsule of an interior. Guests who pull up a stool at the curved, wood-paneled public bar can rest their feet on a brass rail decorated with a layer of checkered cream-and-brown tile. Original Truman’s Brewery signage and mirrors maintain a suitably retro vibe.

The Royal Oak

The Royal Oak offers a quaint setting for a Sunday pint, since its the setting for the regular Columbia Road Flower market that takes place on the streets outside its front door. That weekly sale is one of the reasons this is an early pub that serves sellers starting at 9 a.m. on Sundays. Another work by prolific pub designer Arthur Edward Sewell, who designed this building for Truman’s Brewery in 1923 (see the preserved sign above the main entrance), the bar boasts Vitrolite ceilings, an old type of synthetic marble. It also served as a backdrop for Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

The Rose and Crown

Another A.E. Sewell gem in London, the Rose and Crown could be considered a template for historic bar design. All the traditional touches found at Truman’s pub from this era are inside: shiny white Vitrolite ceilings, checkered tiling and brass rails, and original wood-paneled bars.

The Golden Heart

One of Arthur Edward Sewell’s many projects for Truman’s in the ‘30s, this pub was a local on the brewery’s home turf, a flagship near the company’s Black Eagle Brewery and nearby bottle plant on Hanbury Street. Built on the site of an early 19th century pub once called the Golden Harp, the bar became a bit of a muse in the ‘80s and ‘90s, when members of the Britart movement began congregating inside, part of a recent cultural boom in the Spitalfields area.

The Station

One of the biggest projects undertaken by Truman’s brewery, this massive pub, opened in 1935, was meant to serve the then-booming London suburb of Stoneleigh (it’s near the local rail station, 11 mile from the city center). The original layout included multiple bars, as well as a billiards room, social hall and saloon lounge.

Duke of Edinburgh

The bulky, red-brick Duke of Edinburgh still contains a billiard table, a remnant of the games room that provided entertainment for bar-goers when the pub opened in 1937. The interior boasts a long, continuous bar and many of the historic fixtures common to Truman’s bars.

Army and Navy

Built in 1936, this historic drinking establishment sits about a mile away from the Rose and Crown, another Truman's pub, and has a very similar interior.

Palm Tree

The Palm Tree is a fully functioning bit of history, with images of yesterday's celebrities and an oval-shaped bar providing a throwback experience when you want to throw back a few in Mile End.

Bedford Hotel

This grand old bar has a colorful history beyond its decades of service to drinkers. In the late 19th century, the venue’s upper level served as the location of an inquest into the death of Charles Bravo, a Victorian lawyer whose unsolved murder is still being poured over to this day. In addition, the pub played host to early gigs by U2 and the Clash. The interior is equally as engaging. An improbable, fake Globe Theatre sits at the rear of the pub, and the domed ceiling is covered in heraldic symbols and shields.