A historic pub interior of regional importance
Listed Status: IIBilton Lane
Tel: (01423) 506051
Real Ale: Yes
Public Transport: Near Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
In a rural valley setting at the very edge of suburban Harrogate, the Gardeners occupies a delightful little early 18th century vernacular house. Its two main pub rooms are either side of the old stone-flagged central corridor. The lounge, to the right, was possibly the publican’s semi-private parlour. The tap room, to the left, with its old bench seating and ancient hearth, and divided-off only by a boarded partition wall, is likely to have been the only room in regular public use for much of the pub’s history and it has a true seasoned feel. The back parts, including the bar-servery area, the games room and the curious little under-stair ‘snug’ are almost certainly former domestic quarters that have been incorporated in fairly recent times.
In a rural valley setting at the very edge of suburban Harrogate, the Gardener's is an old-fashioned alehouse of rare quality in these parts, occupying a delightful little early eighteenth-century vernacular building - stone-built, with stone-mullioned windows, stone-flagged floors and stone slate roof. Though it has moved with the times, developing its food and beer-garden trade, what changes there have been internally have had little effect on the basic layout of the original house. The two principal rooms are, as they always have been, either side of the old central entrance corridor. The lounge, to the right, has solid walls and we can guess that for many years this was the publican's own private 'best room'.
The tap room, to the left of the corridor and separated only by a boarded partition wall, is perhaps the part of the building that has been in public use longest. It has old bench seating, an ancient hearth and a seasoned feel. As for the back parts of the building, including the servery area and the games room, the likelihood is that these are former domestic quarters that have been brought into pub use in fairly recent times. For most of its history the Gardener's belonged to the Mountgarrett estate which finally sold it in the 1970s to long-standing tenant, Maurice Johnson. It has been in brewery ownership for little more than a decade. Bilton itself, surprisingly enough, has some history as a mining village and produced coal for Harrogate's earliest gas supply.
Alterations in 2015 included re-configuring the back stairway, which has affected the size, shape, and character of both the back-left (former games) room and the under-stair area (former snug).