Worcestershire - Worcester

A historic pub interior of regional importance

This pub is currently closed (since 01/11/2019)

Listed Status: Not listed

4 Bull Ring, St Johns

Tel: (01905) 339640

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Nearby Station: Worcester Foregate Street

Station Distance: 1100m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Worcester Foregate Street) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

A pub built in 1879 which contains two old rooms and some fine fittings. The public bar was once divided into three as evidenced by scars on the counter; it has a couple of bell-pushes and original seating. The star feature, though, is the wonderfully ornate L-shaped bar back, with prominent pediment, twisted columns, mosaic-style mirrors and a clock which helpfully names the bar fitters, Yates & Greenways of Birmingham. The counter itself has well-crafted fielded panelling. On the left, a now-closed tiled corridor has an off-sales hatch to the servery. A curiosity is that there was formerly a second outlet for take-home supplies - the 'outdoor department' with service through another hatch. The side door and rear corridor lead to a small smoke room with fixed seating and bell-pushes.

The pub was acquired by the Cannon Royall brewery in 2015.

A lovely, small corner site pub built in 1879 of brick which in the early 1900s was remodelled with the addition of a new servery and bar fittings by Yates and Greenways of Birmingham. The public bar was subdivided by a screen into two compartments and another screen separated a new Jug And Bottle in the rear section of the public bar. A former living room on the rear left was converted into a smoke room. Following these alterations the outdoor department at the front left of the pub was effectively closed but despite this, there were still a few customers in recent years that used the front passage to drink in!

After a number of years of ownership by Enterprise Inns, which saw the pub have periods of closure as tenants struggled to run it viably, it was sold in 2013. While the new owners have sensible plans to convert the upper floors into flats and retain this as a pub by charging a modest rent to make it viable they have made some changes to its historic interior.

The pub was acquired by the Cannon Royall brewery in 2015.

In the 1960s the partitions that created two sections in the public bar and a separate jug and bottle were removed - you can easily see the two indentations in the counter top indicating the former positions of the screens which originally divided the room - the door with a decorative etched glass containing the wording 'JUG & BOTTLE / DEPT / on Bush Walk was blocked up and a new sliding door cut out of the rear wall giving access to the passageway leading to the smoke room and the toilets. Prior to this new door being added customers had to walk out of the corner door and back into the pub via the side door in order to access the toilets.

The left hand door (no longer in use) leads into a passage with a decorative etched glass containing the wording 'Smoke Room & Out Door Dept.' leads into a passage with tongue and grooved boarding, also red and cream tiles laid diagonally. At the end of the passage on the right was the ‘Outdoor Department’ with intact rising hatch with stained and leaded panels and just before it a two-part stained and leaded window. In early 2014 both the hatch and the window were removed to create a walkway between the public bar and the passage and through the door into the Smoke Room.

The public bar retains its servery from the early 1900s which is of an inverted L-shape so it faces both Bull Ring and Bush Walk. The bar counter front is comprised of fielded panels divided by scrolled pilasters topped with carved reliefs with floral and foliage motifs. It has an excellent bar back with a prominent pedimented feature - it has two twisted columns with composite capitals and scrolled console brackets topped with ball finials supporting a deep frieze and a moulded cornice. Above the cornice is a balustrade. The bar back turns the corner by way of a rounded corner piece which is embellished with a moulded, triangular pediment with a tympanum containing a carved scrollwork relief incorporating floral and foliage motifs. Below the pediment is a clock set within a moulded surround of which the spandrels contain carved reliefs with floral and foliage motifs. The clock bears the wording 'YATES & GREENWAYS / BAR FITTERS / BIRMINGHAM'. To the bar back wall there is a series of round-headed arches to which 1960/70s mosaic mirror tiles have been added, also fluted keystones and spandrels with carved scrollwork reliefs with floral and foliage motifs. Very little of the lower shelves remain as most have been replaced by fridges.

The bare wood floor room also retains its early 20th century fixed seating re-leatheretted, one draught screen, bell pushes, moulded cornice and anaglypta ceiling. The corner entrance has a wooden vestibule with stained and leaded panels in the door and along the top – note the indentations which indicate the position of the former screens. The ground floor windows have original (or good replacement) decorative etched glass; the exception being the replacement window to Bush Walk which is of a similar style to the originals but with the wording 'THE / BUSH / INN'. The original fireplace has been replaced by a Victorian –style one.

The side entrance door on Bush Walk leads into a passage with tongue and grooved boarding, red and cream tiles laid diagonally, and a door with a hatch to the servery. Situated at the end of the corridor is the smoke room, which is also accessed from a corridor from the front left-hand side door on Bull Ring. The doors to the smoke room contain early 1900’s decorative etched glass with the wording 'SMOKE / ROOM' whilst the room itself retains its bell pushes and fixed seating with scrolled and fluted legs and a draught screen. A small plaque attached to the seating bears the inscription 'MANUFACTURED BY / YATES & GREENWAYS / 39 TO 42 COLESHILL ST / BIRMINGHAM. Set into the wall is a hatch providing access to the servery in the public bar – and due the loss of a small portion of fixed seating which was probably done in the 1960/70s it is possible to stand at the hatch to the back of the servery. However, in 2014 an ugly white radiator has been placed in front of the hatch and a pie warmer behind it so it is no longer in use for service. While the mantelpiece looks to date from the early 20th century, the fireplace is a 1960s replacement. In 2014 a new door was added to the rear of the smoke room to give access to the yard and necessitated the removal of a small piece of the fixed seating.

At the rear right the landlord’s private living room was opened-up to the rear passage and converted into a pool room in the late 1980s and has a reproduction Victorian fireplace. Modernised toilets at rear. On the first floor there is a former billiards room at the front which retains some fixed seating and a bell push but was converted into a dining room some years ago. At least two of the first floor front windows had decorative etched glass displaying the word 'BILLIARDS' but in 2014 they were replaced by plain glass as part of the conversion of the upper floors to flats. Also upstairs the rear function room become a kitchen.

Read More