Black Horse

West Midlands - Birmingham

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II*

Bristol Road South
Birmingham, Northfield
B31 2QT

Tel: (0121) 477 1800


Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: Northfield

Station Distance: 800m

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

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Without doubt one of the greatest and most magnificent pubs created between the wars, this enormous ‘Brewers’ Tudor’ roadhouse dates from a rebuilding in 1929 for Birmingham brewers Davenports by Francis Goldsbrough of architects Bateman & Bateman. The extravagantly half-timbered exterior has gables, carved woodwork, leaded glass and barley-sugar chimneys. Inside, the ground floor has experienced much change, especially at the front, including some refitting in its latest incarnation as a pub in the J.D. Wetherspoon chain, which took over in 2010 after a period of closure (the bar fittings are of this time). The most notable spaces on the ground floor are the former gents’ smoke room (rear right) and the dining and assembly room (rear left): the first is a romantic evocation of a baronial hall with a sturdy tie-beam roof (the servery is modern), while the latter has a series of low ceilings punctuated by tall two-light windows. Among the details to enjoy on the ground floor are three grand and very different fireplaces in the ground-floor spaces. The first floor is less changed and definitely worth a visit. The first space is a barrel-vaulted lobby area which leads to a huge function room (with three-sided ceiling) and beyond this is a conference room with a fine circular plaster ceiling. The former verandah, overlooking the well-manicured bowling green, is now glazed in as a seating area.

A magnificent 1929 'Brewers Tudor' roadhouse, designed by Francis Goldsbrough of Batemans for Birmingham brewers Davenports. Its listed description states "The grandest of the post First World War "reformed pubs" built on a vast scale in a picturesque highly successful Vernacular Revival combining Midlands half-timbering and Cotswold stone, giving the impression, in its loose planning, of a gradual evolution from late medieval to Jacobean. The quality of detailing and materials embodies the best of the Birmingham Arts and Crafts tradition."

After a refurbishment the pub re-opened as a Wetherspoon's on 23 July 2010. It has a wonderful timbered exterior with gables, carved woodwork, leaded glass, an original carved projecting sign, fine stonework and chimneys. The lower south end includes the manager's house, half timbered on a Cotswold stone base. At the rear is a bowling green with original stone-built pavilion and pergolas.

Over the years there has been a lot of change on the ground floor but the baronial hall-style bar (originally called the gents' smoke room) with notable timber ceiling at the rear is impressive. Although opened up, the original small rooms at the front still have original features such as the fireplace and panelling in the mixed smoke room on the right and notable Tudor-style stone fireplace on the left with a carving of a black horse above. The hall on the left has more panelling and decorative ceiling and to the rear is another large room.

Head upstairs for more fine architecture in the hallway at the top of the stairs and two more rooms. The Assembly Room is another baronial hall-style high ceilinged room with carved beams. Ask staff if you want to see the small committee room with its fine decorative plasterwork ceiling.

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