Stork Hotel

Merseyside - Birkenhead

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

41-43 Price Street
Birkenhead
CH41 6JN

Tel: (0151) 647 7506

Real ale & Cider: Real Ale

Nearby Station: Conway Park

Station Distance: 300m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Conway Park) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

A splendid example of lavish refitting, carried out by Threlfalls Brewery of Salford, no doubt in the Edwardian years. The external tilework gives some idea of the superb interior, which is laid out with a public bar on the street corner, enclosed by a corridor with other rooms leading off, as at the Lion Tavern and Prince Arthur, both in Liverpool. The best place to admire the pub is from the cosy semi-circular alcove where the mosaic-floored corridor sweeps in a curve through 90 degrees. The back of the servery is formed by a screen with a dado covered in blue, yellow and buff tiles with Art Nouveau detailing, above which is a glazed screen with richly decorated glass. The tiling was made by George Swift Ltd of the Swan Tile Works, Liverpool and extends to other parts of the pub too, even down to the loos (the gents’ tiling may be inter-war). Leading off the corridor are two other rooms, named as a news room (at the back) and bar parlour (left). There is extensive original seating and bell-push arrangements. Note the attractive fireplace where the corridor turns. The public bar has mostly modern fittings although the dado tiling, with a dominant brown colour, rather than blue, is original.

A mid 19th century public house, given a high-quality remodelling in c.1903. This is a fine pub and one to compare with other excellent Heritage pubs on Merseyside - the Lion; and Prince Arthur; in Liverpool and the Edinburgh; in Crosby. All these pubs are on street corners with the public bar occupying the angle and surrounded by an L-shaped corridor. In all cases there is a rich display of Edwardian tilework as well as fine woodwork.

In the re-modelling the exterior received a glazed brick and tile frontage on the ground floor which includes colourful blue pilasters - note a little mosaic apron in front of the main entrance on Price Street. The inner lobby has a door with etched ‘Bar’ in a full height partition featuring both etched and stained & leaded glazed panes. The L-shaped corridor has a splendid mosaic floor which was revealed in 2000 for the first time in decades and this has much enhanced the appearance of the pub. All around the corridor on both the servery side and other walls is a dado of turquoise blue tiles, many with Art Nouveau patterns in yellow, orange and light blue. The choice of blue tiling was down to the owners, Threlfalls Brewery, whose house colour was blue and the tiles are by George Swift Ltd of the Swan Tile Works, Liverpool.

A curved screen forms the bar back fitting and has a doorway for the staff with a flap across it for service, also a doorway now covered by glass, which may have been the off sales. There are five but originally there was six as the two near the Price Street entrance has been amalgamated by removal of the upright between them and the upper and lower windows removed. The other sections of various sizes are intact with four of them still retaining their rising sash windows – two always in the upper position, two always closed. Many windows have decoratively etched glazed panels, three separate panes in the case of upper windows, topped off by a row of stained and leaded windows all around.

There is a splendid original fireplace in the corridor with mahogany surround including two pillars, a brown glazed brick interior, but modern interior. In the angle of the corridor is a section of curved fixed seating with carved bench ends and bell pushes in the panelling above. Behind the seating there are three original ‘Stork Hotel’ etched glass windows in which the patterning is far more sinuous than usual (you can see something of this in our picture). The mosaic-floored passageway with mainly blue tiled dado continues to the toilets at the rear and the tiling continues up the staircase to the first floor. The gents’ has walls completely covered in inter-war tiles, old black and white tiled floor, and there is four inter-war urinals. The ladies' has modern tiles. There is another broken pediment above the doorway to the passage to the toilets. On the first floor is a large former function room with elaborate cornice.

The corridor between the angle and the door on Adelphi Street is a drinking passage with some tables. Near the Adelphi Street entrance is the News Room with its original door leading off the corridor (just as it does at the Lion); with a ‘News Room’ etched panel. It retains original fixed seating with carved bench ends, bell pushes in a wood panel above, an Edwardian tiled, cast iron and wood surround fireplace, three ‘Stork Hotel’ etched and frosted exterior windows with leaded lights above. On the left of the Price Street entrance is the Bar Parlour, entered through a doorway with impressive surround including a mahogany broken pediment. Formerly sub-divided, the fixed seating looks like it has been there for some time and there is one stone Tudor shaped fireplace (date? –it looks modern) and a disused chimney breast.

The Public Bar has doors from both lobbies and still retains its Edwardian tiled dado of mainly dark brown with some light brown ceramic banding above. The bar counter is modern (1970’s?) and there is a modern pot shelf above. There are two good Threlfall’s Salford Ales’ etched windows and the corner door has been blocked up so the public bar may have been divided some time in the past. The screen described above forms the bar back.

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