A historic pub interior of some regional importance
Listed Status: II17-19 King Street
Three-storey building of brown brick which is an amalgamation of two earlier houses; pub since 1857. The front bar area features an integral engraved mirror with floral motifs. There is an impressive timber and etched mirrored bar back on the right but the bar counter has been lost. A disused door with etched glazing is in its centre. In the room behind the servery is another virtually intact Victorian bar back with four bays, each with a floral decorated mirror at its centre, and at the top is a further semi circular and similarly decorated mirror above a carved wooden crosspiece. Throughout the pub is the same etched glass design featuring floral motifs.
The Hop Poles is an amalgamation of two earlier houses with the lower wing on the right being converted into a pub in 1857. In 1903 it was a Barclay Perkins pub. It is a three-storey building of brown brick with a ground floor of granite faced with pilasters flanking the four entrance doors. Near the right hand doors is a brass sign “Saloon & Luncheon Bars” and above it a ‘The Hop Poles Hotel’ mirror. The interior layout is much changed over the years and now has a centrally situated servery facing four directions.
The two main entrance doors lead into a front bar. The door on the right has intact and attractive mosaic tiling. The left hand door has a plain step with two leaded, stained glass panels above featuring floral motifs and richly bordered. There was a refurbishment of the entire pub in 2018 in which modern tiling was added to the front bar area but the wooden bar back is retained. It features an integral engraved mirror also with floral motifs flanked by tall side panels with mirrors in wooden frames that are also engraved. The lower shelving has been replaced by fridges. The bar front has been painted but was probably established in earlier years, consistent with left return. An old service hatch has been sealed and the bar counter appears to be a recent addition. The bar has a ribbed ceiling consistent with the right return. There is one cast iron pillar with a Corinthian capital at the junction of the front bar and left hand bar.
The left return has an old bar counter but fresh panels have been added to the front and painted a dark blue colour. The bar back is of five and a half sized bays with bay three being a doorway for staff. Bays one, four and the narrow one have etched and cut mirrors, but bay two only wood panels. The white tiles were added in 2018. Most of the lower shelving has been lost to fridges.
The right-hand area room is announced on the exterior dado as the Saloon. It has been opened up in recent times to the former Public Bar on the left side of the pub. It’s not over large and is harmoniously proportioned. There is an impressive timber and etched mirrored bar back. However, as is often the case when pubs are refurbished, it is now marooned as the counter has been done away with. There are two bays against the left-hand (east) wall and three against the back (north) wall. In the centre of the latter a disused door also benefits from an etched mirror. Otiose chalk boards are mounted on two of the bays, very likely concealing more mirrors. The room has an attractive moulded ceiling.
At the rear of the room are a set of double doors, which look old and contain etched glass. These lead to the rear part of the pub (the former Luncheon Room). Above them a set of attractive etched windows.
Through the doors a single door on the left signed "private", and leading to the rear of the central servery, contains an etched/cut pane with floral design matching in design all other glazing in the pub. Probably Victorian. The most arresting feature of the back room is what appears to be an intact Victorian bar back that backs on to the rear of the servery. Four bays, each with a floral decorated mirror at its centre, and at the top a further semi circular and similarly decorated mirror above a carved wooden crosspiece. At the centre of the bar back is a central floor to ceiling wood-framed piece protruding approx a foot from the back, containing some shelving and also with semi circular mirrors to the top and sides.
Until circa 2007 the bar counter extended to front the east half of the aforementioned bar back, when it was truncated. In previous years it will have fronted the whole piece. A metal fireplace at the back on the right, with damaged tiling, looks modern.
A modern archway, in a relatively modern wall, separates this room from a smaller rear room to the east that at one time was a cocktail bar, which in turn is separated from the front area of the pub by what appears to be vestiges of Victorian screening still containing some cut glass panes. Above the modern archway in the rear area sits a wood-framed piece of screening with a semi-circular top, which is, of course, not in situ, and probably re-sited during earlier internal alterations.