A historic pub interior of regional importance
Listed Status: II1 Saint Mary's Row
Built in 1898-9 by architects Newton & Cheatle for Holt's Brewery, the Fighting Cocks has endured various corporate refurbishments, including Firkin branding in the 1990s and Goose branding later - but it's still a fabulous building, inside and out. The superb brick and stone exterior is in a mixed Tudor/Arts & Crafts style with a clock tower, big stained and leaded glass windows and a barometer and windspeed indicator by the corner entrance. Inside, the three rooms surround a central servery which has a fine heavy mahogany gantry, etched mirrors and good plain counter. Along the front are original timber entrance lobbies with etched glass. The L-shaped corner bar has green Craven Dunnill wall tiles and a decorative ceiling. The modernised lounge retains two picture-tile panels, one showing a pub called the Fighting Cocks, no doubt the current building's predecessor, and the other a church in a rural setting - is there more beneath the wallpaper?
Built as the Fighting Cocks by Newton & Cheatle for Holt's Brewery in 1898-1899. It is a fabulous building inside and out despite suffering from various corporate refurbishments, including a Firkin branding in the 1990s, and a Goose branding later. It has a superb brick and stone exterior in Tudor / Arts and Crafts / Mackintosh style with a clock tower; big colourful Birmingham stained and leaded glass windows and a barometer and wind-speed indicator next to the corner entrance. The original layout of three rooms surrounding a central servery can still be discerned. There is a public bar on the front and left originally separated by a modest partition and now amalgamated with the off sales on the front right; smoke room on rear right accessed through a hall; and a smoke room behind the servery accessed from a hall on the rear left.
On the front left there is an original timber entrance vestibule with etched and frosted panels at the top; fielded panelling on the dado and above Victorian tiles right up to the ceiling. The two doors have good etched and frosted panels. The original L-shaped panelled counter remains and a fine heavy mahogany gantry in Arts and Crafts style facing two sides. It is of three bays each side with tiled panels throughout, etched mirrors and a good plain counter. The walls have a dado of fielded panelling with Victorian green wall tiles by Craven Dunnill reaching to the ceiling and a decorative copper ceiling now painted black.
On the front right is another good lobby with tiling from floor to ceiling. In the former lounge on the right hand wall are two tiled panels which were thought to have be lost in 1980s alterations but came to light again during 1991 restoration work. They were made by Craven Dunnill. One shows a pub labelled as the Fighting Cocks, so shows what the predecessor of the present one looked like. The other shows a church with a spire in a rural setting: it certainly isn’t the local medieval building since this has no spire and the setting is quite wrong. Between the tiled paintings is a tiled, cast-iron and wood surround fireplace which may be original, original dado panelling but the bar counter here is modern. There is small modernised room to the rear.