Rose & Crown

Somerset - Huish Episcopi

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

Huish Episcopi
TA10 9QT

Tel: (01458) 250494


Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

The Rose & Crown was known by this name by 1835 and is also affectionately called ‘Eli’s’ after Eli Scott, grandfather of the present family members who run the pub. The simple Gothic windows suggest a rebuilding in the late-18th or early-19th centuries. Inside, its special feature is the sunken cellar area, a unique layout where customers freely wander in to order drinks or cross the pub. It has a stone-flagged floor and shelving with rare ‘signal-lever’ hand-pumps attached (see p.xx). A series of small rooms surrounds it. One of these, the ‘Men’s Kitchen’ (cf Globe, Appley) front right, was once a male preserve and has an old cast-iron range – such sex discrimination became illegal in 1976. Another historic room is the ‘Piano Room’ at the front in the middle of the building and with direct access to the serving area. To the left are two rooms brought into use; the front one was the family parlour and the rear was created in 1984 on the site of the outside gents’. A skittle alley occupies a separate building to the rear right of the pub; this is also the venue for Elderflowers Food Co-operative every Friday from 5pm to 7pm, selling locally produced, mostly organic, food at keen prices.

This is one of only six traditional pubs left in the entire UK without a bar counter including the other Heritage Pubs the Cock, Broom, Bedfordshire; North Star, Steventon, Oxfordshire; Tuckers Grave, Faulkland, Somerset; Kings Head, Laxfield, Suffolk; and Manor Arms, Rushall, West Midlands.

The servery consists of an uneven flagstone floor and shelving with handpumps attached to it. The dispensers include a rare beer engine manufactured by Dalex with levers shaped like a knife handle and blade jutting horizontally out of the beer engine casing. It is still in use, and probably dates from between the world wars - the only other known set in use is at the Star, Lidgate in Suffolk. The two original rooms are the Piano Room and the room, formerly the male preserve, known as the Men's Kitchen situated on the front right of the building. It has a latch door with the figure '2' on it, a genuine stone-flagged floor, old dado panelling on the walls, range fireplace, and seating consisting of two splendid old bare benches. The passage from the front door also has a panelled dado and a basic long low bench. The other original room is the Piano Room in the middle front of the building, also with a stone-flagged floor, a brick fireplace from the 1930s, old panelled dado, but it no longer has a piano! Note the small shelves where drinks could rest after being served.

On the left of the building are two rooms brought into use - the front one was the family parlour or living room and the rear was created in 1984 on the site of the original outside gents toilets. In the cellar are there was no bar counter at all until the 1960s then a tiny one was added with a Formica top. Following a severe flood in December 2008 when the pub had some 12,000 gallons of water in it, a new similar sized replacement counter was added, as well as new shelves to replace the original old ones. The small wooden barrel on a stillage was how cider was served prior to the flood - now the cider is kept in the cellar and sold by electric pump from the row of 'keg-type' dispensers. The two left rooms have a new slate-like tiled floor. The former parlour has a stone fireplace, the rear room good bench seating and this is the room you are likely to find a number of locals sitting in. The outside toilets at the rear date from the 1950s, the first time there were toilets for ladies. There is a games room with a pool table at the rear left in another modern extension and the skittle alley is in a separate building at the rear right of the pub, which is the venue for a Food Co-operative every Friday from 4.30 to 7pm

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