A historic pub interior of regional importance
Listed Status: II2 Templar Street
Tel: (0113) 243 0318
Real Ale: Yes
Nearby Station: Leeds
Station Distance: 800m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Leeds) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
The tiled exterior and some quality ‘Tudor’ elements are what remain from a 1927 design scheme for Melbourne brewery by Pontefract architects Garside & Pennington. The chief interest is the back lounge, which was largely unaffected by a re-modelling that opened out the main body of pub in the mid-1980s.
The Templar was sold by John William McGonnell to Leeds & Wakefield Breweries Ltd. trading as Melbourne Brewery (Leeds) Ltd in 1927 who employed Pontefract architects Garside & Pennington to refurbish both the pub’s interior and exterior. The ground floor exterior including mullion windows was treated to a glazed green and buff stone and on the fascia in stone relief is the wording ‘Templar Hotel’, ‘Lounge’, ‘Melbourne Ales’, ‘Vault’, Templar Hotel’ on the Templar Street side, and ‘Saloon’ and ‘Templar Hotel’ on Vicar Lane side. Although the division between the front Saloon and the Vault has been lost, much of the quality refitting including some ‘Tudor’ elements remains, which is quite remarkable for a city centre pub. The significant changes were in 1985 when the present toilets were created, albeit in approximately the same position as the 1927 ones.
The left hand door on Templar Street with ‘Lounge’ above it leads to a porch with a dado of inter-war tiling in mainly cream. The entrance to the rear lounge is now an arch but this room is otherwise little changed with panelling to two-thirds height all around the room, a good inter-war wood surround fireplace (but modern Tetleys tiled interior), original fixed seating with bell pushes above, a plain baffle and a door to private room with a colourful panel in the top.
The front left door with ‘Saloon’ above it leads to a lobby with inter-war panelling to two-thirds height. It leads to a long narrow interior having lost a partition originally separating the saloon at the front from the vaults in the middle; also a door near the toilets that created a large hall in front of the lounge has also been removed. There is panelling on the walls to two-thirds height, some original fixed seating but some new seating in front of the blocked up vaults door. The original bar counter with an unusual panelled front survives as does the bar back fitting with Tudor arch bays on the left and right side; even a good portion of the lower shelving survives (some lost to fridges). The screen on the counter around the glass washing area in 1980s Tetley’s work.
The toilets were revamped in 1985 but the 1927 doors look to have survived. The Templar still uses Autovacs to serve the real ales.
The Templar is under threat having been recently compulsorily purchased by Leeds City Council as part of the proposed Eastgate / Harewood Street shopping development and will be sold onto developers Hammerson PLC, who have stated “The Templar Hotel will be refurbished as part of the scheme. The facade will be restored.” An ACV has been registered with Leeds City Council.