Harrington Arms

Cheshire - Gawsworth

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

Church Lane
SK11 9RJ

Tel: (01260) 223325

Website http://www.robinsonsbrewery.com/pubs-inns-and-hotels/find-a-pub/f-j/harringtonarmsgawsworth

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

It is claimed there has been a pub here since 1710. Until 2007 it was attached to a working farm and thus was an example of a once-common way of combining pub-keeping with another livelihood. They are now separate businesses. The timeless tap room to the left of the entrance is the oldest part and has a red and black quarry-tiled floor, venerable settles, an old fireplace and sundry other vintage furniture. The servery in its present form only dates from 1980. To the right, the snug has a hatch for service, a 1950s fireplace and a settle; the small lounge at the back has a similar period feel. The former kitchen on the rear left became part of the pub in 2007 (the former cooking facilities seem on a truly industrial scale, perhaps reflecting the need to provide food for farm workers). All the rooms have numbers on their doors .

The Harrington Arms is a rural public house attached to a working farm (75 acres) and until 2007 both the pub and the farm were run by the same person - a rare example of a once common way of making a livelihood - combining public house keeping with other activities. This red brick pub was built in two phases with the oldest three storey part dating back to the seventeenth century. The Bayley family ran the pub for over 100 years until 2007 with Marjorie having been at the pub from 1942 until her death in 1998 aged 86 - hence the little changed interior which has been used by TV companies. Both the pub and the farm are owned by Robinsons brewery having bought them from the Bayley family in the 1930s when they wanted to buy a hotel in Blackpool!

In the past it was probably operating with just a small servery where beer was served from the cask into a jug and the main drinking room being the splendid Tap Room on the front left. More rooms were brought into use over the years - the former kitchen/living room being the last one in 2007 making five rooms in all. In recent years the pub has started to sell meals but it is still very much a pub that welcomes drinkers.

Through the ancient inner door with a row of glazing protectors and to the right is a narrow room with the bar. The servery in its present form dates from 1984; prior to that arrangements were simpler with the casks stillaged against the back wall and no bar counter - just a screen with a ledge. In one room there is a photo of long serving landlady Marjorie Bayley serving beer from casks into jugs and it shows some old bar back shelves. In 1984 Robinsons added the bar fittings and replaced the screen around the servery with a virtual copy. This is confirmed by a 1980 drawing of the servery situated just above the door. Note the old till dating from the early early 1900s and the figure '2' on the door to the cellar - a requirement of the licensing magistrates.

The original drinking room is the timeless tap room on the front left and is one of the country's finest unspoilt pub rooms. It has a latch door with the figure '5' on it, a red and black quarry tiled floor interestingly laid both square and diagonally, very old wall benches on two sides - one with a noticeable slope - a fitted high backed settle and a small piece of window bench seating. The brick fireplace (at least 70 years old) has a log burner and old oblong scrubbed tables and basic low benches all add to this atmospheric room.

The diamond laid red and black quarry-tiled hall leads to a former external door as the toilets are situated in a brick extension to the original building, no doubt added to bring the toilets inside, and also add a kitchen. In 2007 the former kitchen/living room on the rear left was brought into use as a public room. It has a figure '6' on the latch door, a splendid large early 20th century range of enamelled iron with no less than 8 ovens and an open fire as well as old wall cabinets. This small room has a black and red quarry tiled floor in the same design as the front left room, two antique settles and an oblong scrubbed tables making this another room with a timeless feel. Note the old hooks in the ceiling from which meats would have been hung in the past. The draught screen by an exterior door is modern.

There are two more small rooms on the right hand side of the pub. A very small bare wood floored Snug with the figure '3' on the door has a hatch for service to the side of the servery which was added in the 1984, a 1950s brick fireplace with a log fire and a domestic looking wall cupboard.

To the rear right up a few steps is another room which as its name 'the Parlour' implies it was previously private quarters until the 1950s. It has the figure '4' on the door, an antique settle and another 1950s brick fireplace. A Conker Championship is held every early October.

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