A historic pub interior of regional importance
Listed Status: II*Main Street
OS ref: SK266501
Tel: (01335) 370306
Real ale & Cider: Real Ale and Real Cider
View on: Whatpub
A 17th-century stone building with mullioned windows, the Barley Mow became an inn some 200 years ago. The undisturbed layout owes much to previous landlady Mrs Ford, who spent all her 89 years here and refused all things modern such as VAT and going decimal. On her death in 1976, her relatives sold the contents (apart from some fixed seating in the bar) so present landlady Mary Short was obliged to buy new furnishings - though these, such as the slate-topped tables, match the interior perfectly. The small low-beamed public bar, with its huge fireplace, exudes traditional atmosphere, heightened by service being via a small counter which is more like a hatch. Casks of beer are stillaged behind the bar and one beer is kept in the cellar and served via a jug - a great rarity nowadays. A passage beyond narrow doors takes you to a small parlour, not brought into regular pub use until 1976. Up a short flight of steps to the right of the servery is the former kitchen, pressed into pub service at busy times.
An excellent unspoilt pub. A three-storey, stone building, listed at grade II* and dating from the seventeenth-century with mullioned windows and a heavy raised door surround to the main entrance. It proudly displays two gables to the street and has a sun-dial under the eaves in the centre bearing the date 1683. It became an inn some 200 years ago and the layout has remained undisturbed partly because the previous landlady Mrs Ford spent all of her 89 years here and refused all things modern such as VAT and ‘going decimal’. When she died in 1976 her relatives firstly sold the contents – fixed seating in the public bar remained - and then put the pub on the market. Present landlady Mary Short bought it with the intention of retaining its unspoilt qualities so she purchased traditional furnishings to match the interior with a result that the pub looks like it hasn’t changed in over a 100 years.
The small low beamed public bar has a wonderful, unspoilt atmosphere with bench seating round the walls - some old, some added in 1976 - , slate-topped tables (from a three quarter sized billiard table – hence the holes in the corners!), quarry tile flooring and a huge fireplace with log fire. Service is via a small counter which is more like a hatch – the shutter which could be post-war is held open by bolts and is still occasionally used to close the bar! Most of the shelves in the servery are old but the bar top is modern.
Casks of beer are lined up on a stillage behind the bar and served straight into the glass. One beer, usually Hartington IPA from Whim Brewery, is kept in the cellar and is served via a jug. Other Heritage Pubs still using a jug to serve at least one real ale are the Holly Bush, Mackeney, Derbyshire; Star, Bath, Somerset; Anchor, High Offley, Staffordshire; Dyffryn Arms, Pontfaen, Pembrokeshire, West Wales; Falcon, Arncliffe, North Yorkshire; and Cresselly Arms, Cresswell Quay, Pembrokeshire, West Wales.
Through a pair of narrow doors is a passage, which lead to the toilets brought inside in c.1980. Off to the right is the small ‘Parlour’ which although historically could have been used as a public room it was not until 1976 it was brought into regular use. It has a polished oak parquet floor, cast fireplace in a 19th century wooden surround and wall cabinet. The corner pews and antique settle are items brought in by Mary Short. The exterior ‘half’ doors and the original path into the building are no longer in use.
On the right hand side of the servery is a stable door with glazed half doors through which you are served and up the short flight of stairs is the former kitchen which is brought into use only when the pub is busy. It has a quarry tiled floor with, unusually, stripes of black and red tiles running diagonally across the room. The original Georgian fireplace remains and again traditional furnishings are items added in 1976. Beyond that there is a further quarry tiled room only used by residents for meals. On the left of the driveway is Kirk Ireton Village Shop created from an outbuilding of the pub. It is run by the community and no rent is charged by the pub. All the profits are re-invested in shop improvements.