Manor Arms

Pub Heritage Group have recently carried out a regrading of Real Heritage Pubs - click here for full details

West Midlands - Rushall

Three star - A pub interior of exceptional national historic importance

Listed Status: II

Park Road, Off Daw End Lane

OS ref: SK032004

Tel: (01922) 642333


Real Ale: Yes

Public Transport: Near Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

This is one of the very few pubs in the country with no bar counter. It is a three-room canal-side establishment, opened as a beerhouse in 1895 within an 18th-century building. The central corridor is a favourite place for a drink with many regulars and on its left is the public bar, where the hand-pumps and taps are set against the back wall, beneath rows of shelving for glasses and bottles. Customers and serving staff are therefore not segregated as happens with a conventional bar counter. This warm and welcoming room has simple dado panelling, a boarded ceiling, a fixed bench and a (possibly) inter-war brick fireplace. The front right-hand room has an old quarry-tiled floor, fixed seating (possibly from the 1930s) and a modern brick fireplace in an old inglenook. At the back is the lounge, a small room brought into pub use in relatively recent times and with no historic fittings. Food consists of cobs.
This three-roomed pub is constructed of mainly 18th century red brick and modern rough cast and is one of few ‘no-bar’ pubs in the country. Originally a farmhouse, the Anson family opened their front room as a beerhouse towards the end of the 19th century. Boatman on the Rushall Canal, which runs at the rear of the pub, being good customers. It gained a full license in about 1895. It has a nickname of ‘The Widows’ because it was run by two old ladies in the past. From the front door a quarry tiled floored passage runs to the rear and has one table near a hatch on the left hand side. Alongside the hatch for service to two rooms on the right there is a half door in an old partition wall and when you walk through the door you are standing in the servery alongside the staff! This is one of only a handful of pubs where this is still possible – in years past there would have been many.

You will notice there is no bar counter as such and the handpumps are all affixed to the bar back fitting. This is one of only six traditional pubs left in the whole of the UK without a bar counter including the other Heritage Pubs the Cock, Broom, Bedfordshire; North Star, Steventon, Oxfordshire; Tuckers Grave, Faulkland, Somerset; Rose & Crown, Huish Episcopi, Somerset; and Kings Head, Laxfield, Suffolk.

Until a cellar was built backing onto the canal in the 1950s, casks of beer were on stillage in the area where the bar back fitting is now situated – this makes the bar back fitting no older than 50-60 years. They never added a bar counter making it only one of only a dozen ‘no bar’ pubs in the UK. There is what looks look a tiny piece of counter on the far left near the kitchen but most drinks are handed to customers rather than be left here. The red screeded small public bar that you are now in has an old dado panelling, a 1930s brick fireplace and a boarded ceiling.

The front right Smoke Room has an old red tiled floor and modern brick fireplace under an old inglenook with the remains of a bread oven within a cupboard. All around the room is fixed bench seating which looks like it dates from the 1930s. The pub was hit by a thunderbolt on V E Day 1945 – it hit a chimney in the smoke room which was full of regulars planning the evening's celebrations and they all ended up covered in soot. The legendary band leader Glenn Miller is said to have drunk in the pub during the war with other G I’s. At the rear is the lounge, a small room that has been brought later into use and has no old fittings.
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