Shipmans

Northamptonshire - Northampton

A historic pub interior of regional importance

This pub is currently closed (since 31/07/2014)

Listed Status: II

12 Drapery
Northampton, Town Centre
NN1 2HG

Tel: (01604) 636739

Nearby Station: Northampton

Station Distance: 800m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Northampton) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Refitted in late Victorian times, with some 1938 changes, the three- room layout here is still discernible. In the narrow bar, the counter and bar back are Victorian and the wall-panelling is from the 1930s. Around 1985 a food bar was incorporated into the counter at one end and the bar back here is modern. Note the two sets of spirit cocks on the bar back - CAMRA is only aware of four other such sets in the country. Some of the spirits which these dispensed were allegedly distilled in the attic. The vats were removed in the 1980s. At the Drapery end, a small snug is now accessed by a wide opening but the original half-doors remain. A wide doorway on Drum Lane leads to what used to be the completely separate ‘Barrel Bar’ whose bar counter was disproportionately large. The bar fittings and a dumb waiter had to go when the Council insisted on installation of a gents’ WC. The original entrance doors survive in Drum Lane, with a barrel above. This room has some 1930s features such as the fireplace, two niches and the small roof over the corner where the bar was situated. Until the 1980s, the pub only sold beer in half pints and even today the price list shows beer prices in halves.

A narrow three-storey building of 1790 built by the Shipman family and licensed as the White Hart. Refitted in late Victorian times with some 1938 changes the 3-room layout is still discernable today. The narrow bar has a late Victorian bar counter and bar back, 1930s wood panelled walls but in the mid 1980s a food bar was incorporated into the counter at the Drum Lane end and the bar back here is modern. Note the 2 sets of spirit cocks on the bar back which dispensed spirits, some of which were allegedly distilled in the attic. R = rum; BB = brown brandy; S = scotch; G = gin; IR = Irish whisky; PB = pale brandy. The vats were finally removed in the mid 1980s. CAMRA is only aware of four other sets of spirit cocks at Queens Head 'Turners Vault', Stockport, Greater Manchester; Haunch of Venison, Salisbury, Wiltshire; Bull, Paisley, Scotland; and Crown, Belfast, Northern Ireland - all CAMRA Heritage Pubs.

At the Drapery end is a small snug now accessed by a wide opening, but the original half doors are still there. At the Drum Lane end a wide doorway leads to what until the mid 1980s was the completely separate Barrel Bar which had a large bar counter compared to the size of the room. The bar fittings and a dumb waiter were removed when the local authority insisted that the pub added a gents WC so the old gents urinal which was opposite the new food bar was removed and a new gents built in part of the Barrel Bar. The original entrance doors are still there in Drum Lane with a barrel hanging over them. This room has a 1930s brick fireplace, old seating and other 1930s features such as 2 niches and a small roof over the corner where the bar was situated. Closed Sundays.

Amazingly, this pub was owned by Felinfoel Brewery from 1948 to 1985 as a result of Major Lewis having a first refusal on the retirement of the Shipman Brothers. Then the Lewis family sold it to pub company J T Davies (now called Brakspear's have bought that pub company in 2007 and renamed). It only ever sold beer in half pints until the early 1980s – even today the prices of beers are shown as the half pint one on the price list !

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