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Inter-war pubs given grade II listed status

by Paul Addison on September 7, 2015 No comments

The Government has agreed with the results of research carried out by Historic England and has listed a number of inter-war pubs on the grounds the buildings represent the best surviving examples of a building type “which is stitched into the fabric of English culture”.

The pubs, most listed at Grade II and one upgraded to II*, are local landmarks. Their design was shaped by the “improved pub” movement that followed the First World War.

Between 1918 and 1939 breweries across the country rebuilt thousands of pubs. They needed to expand their appeal beyond their usual male clientele and leave behind the image of drunkenness associated with Victorian and Edwardian pubs.

Breweries created bigger, better pubs with restaurants, gardens and community meeting spaces. These would attract more respectable customers and appeal to families and particularly women.

The pubs listed are the best surviving examples of this fascinating time in the history of a building type which is stitched into the fabric of English culture.

The listed pubs include:

  • The Black Horse, Birmingham, built 1929-30, upgraded to Grade II
  • The Berkeley Hotel, Scunthorpe, built late 1930s
  • The Daylight Inn, Petts Wood, built 1935
  • The Duke William, Stoke on Trent, built 1929
  • The Wheatsheaf, Merseyside, built in 1938
  • The Gatehouse, Norwich, built 1934
  • The Brookhill Tavern, Birmingham, built 1927-28
  • The White Hart, Grays, Essex, built 1938
  • Biggin Hall Hotel, Coventry, built 1923
  • The Angel, Hayes, Middlesex, built 1926

Around 3,000 pubs were built during the inter-war years. “They are now a sadly overlooked and threatened building type, with very few surviving today,” said Historic England.

One of the pubs earmarked for listing through this project was the Carlton Tavern in Kilburn, London, recently demolished without warning before it could be protected.

Several of the newly listed pubs were built by Truman’s Brewery, based in east London. These include the Royal Oak, on the doorstep of the famous Columbia Road Flower market in the capital’s Hoxton. It is called an “early pub” because it serves market traders from 9am on Sundays. It is also a sought-after filming location.

These buildings are important social spaces which have stood at the hearts of communities for decades. Listing offers them protection. It also acknowledges that they are an essential part of our common identity and help to tell our country’s story.

Commercial developers: Tread carefully!

The listing and the trend to protect cultural landmarks from within the last century means that commercial property developers will need to tread carefully going forward.

To verify the potential return on the asset, it is essential to understand planning restrictions that could affect conversion or re-use. The unique DevAcquire report ensures solicitors and their clients understand the opportunities or restrictions that could impact on their investment decision.

The report scans up to 75m beyond the full perimeter for site up to 50 acres, assessing land use zoning restrictions or past activity, permissions or refusals that sign post sensitivity for commercial development, including change of use. Knowing up front, allows your client to review the risk/reward on the asset.

For more information on DevAcquire and the other interpreted planning and development risk reports, call us on 01342 890010 or email

Paul AddisonInter-war pubs given grade II listed status

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