Beautiful pubs

I wouldn’t normally associate the word ‘beautiful’ with a pub, but actually some of them are amazing buildings, whether chocolate-box thatch in the depths of the countryside, or brick and tile edifices in our cities.

The BBC has an interesting piece today about some of the best, which have either been newly listed or had their listing upgraded by English Heritage.

I’m delighted (of course!) to see several from Birmingham on the list.  But baffled that The Bartons Arms in Aston doesn’t seem to feature.  I was lucky enough to visit it once, during a road-show for an old job, and I can say hand on heart that it’s one of the most gorgeous interiors, pub or otherwise, that I’ve ever been in.  Virtually every surface inside is covered in expensive Victorian Minton tiles; there are old light fittings sprouting from every wall; and the bar is a magnificent timber edifice that wouldn’t be out of place in a stately home.  I can only assume it wasn’t included because it’s already listed as Grade II* status.  This is the second highest ranking possible and only buildings of real national importance (the Tower of London, say) are listed any higher so presumably it couldn’t be upgraded any more than it already is.  It would have been nice to see it mentioned, though…

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9 thoughts on “Beautiful pubs

  1. I’ve never been to the Bartons Arms (I’ve only rarely been to Brum), but I recognized the name immediately when I saw it. It features in at least one neonoirish-type movie — near enough to a crime novel, hm? That’s Felicia’s Journey (1999), based on the William Trevor novel. When I wrote about the movie on Noirish I included a still (pardon the link) of the pub’s exterior.

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