Suffolk - Brent Eleigh

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

Lavenham Rd (A1141)
Brent Eleigh
CO10 9PB

OS ref: TL940478

Tel: (01787) 247371

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

View on: Whatpub

A lovely old thatched building, probably 18th-century, although the timber-framing behind the rendering may be older. The smaller bar on the right has wooden panelling in the dado, an old bar counter and shelves, complete with a drawer by way of a till. The quarry-tiled floor, tongue-and-groove panelled ceiling, old fireplace (but modern brick hearth surround) and bare wall benches all add to the atmosphere. The larger room on the left saw some changes in 1976. The servery was created by cutting back the off-sales area by several feet and opening a counter: However, the off-sales hatch was repositioned and the outside door still survives on the side of the pub. Note the hole in one bench for the now rare pub game of pitch penny. On the big table you can make out two scratched shove ha’peny boards (that nearest the door has beds that look more suitable for farthings than ha’pennies!). A 1989 book called The Perfect Pub by Nick and Charlie Burt opined that this indeed was it.

The Cock is one of CAMRA's Heritage Pubs for its unaltered small ‘old bar’ on the right hand side. This attractive thatched wayside 18th-century pub still retains its two room and off sales layout. The pink rendering conceals a timber-frame which could be older. Tall brick chimneys. Greene King bought it from the local landowning Coleman family in c.1912. Its little altered interior is as a result of being run by some long serving licensees such as the Beere family who ran it for 50 years. The more famous of it former licensees is Sam Potter who ran it for 20 years until 1989 and the pub is still called ‘Potter’s Bar’ by some locals! When he retired Greene King wanted to sell the pub as a private house but a campaign by locals persuaded them to sell it as a pub. Then when Charles and Liz Lydford bought it saying they would give it 6 months to prove viable otherwise it would become their home Sam encouraged locals to use it and this is one of the main reasons why this small unspoilt pub remains open. Although not named, the Cock was given the title of 'The Perfect Pub' in the 1989 book of the same name by Nick & Charlie Hurt, and it is easy to see why.

The small ‘old bar’ on the right has its own front door and is also accessed via a narrow door from the main left hand bar. It has a small bar counter with genuinely old woodwork, and a set of old bar back shelves with a till drawer in it. This small quarry tiled floored room has a low tongue and groove panelled ceiling, old wooden panelling in the dado around the room with bare wall benches attached on the left wall side, an old bench on the right near the servery and a small shelf to rest your drinks, a large scrubbed table, and an old fireplace with a fine wood surround with what looks like 1930s brick interior.

The main bar on the left accessed from the corner door and has a quarry tiled floor, a 1930s brick fireplace with a coal fire and seating consists of two basic bare benches, an assortment of chairs and a few bar stools. The only changes to the interior took place in 1976 - previously service here was via a hatch. Half of the present servery was originally taken up by the off sales, but the reduced off sales area still remains with its twin doors for service to the left and is entered by a side door further from the road. The counter and bar back shelves in the main public bar date from 1976.

In the end of one of the benches is a hole that is the rare pub game of Tossing The Penny. New licensee James Davis has purchased 13 George III ounce pennies to bring the game back into use. Note that on the large scrubbed table is carved an early form of shove ha'penny. It still retains the outside gents' and ladies’ toilets. The Cock is a rare outlet for the locally produced Castlings Heath Cottage Organic draught cider, which is described as ‘very dry’.

Read More