Three Pigeons

West Yorkshire - Halifax: Town Centre

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

1 Sun Fold
Halifax: Town Centre
HX1 2LX

Tel: (01422) 347001

Email: bmb18@ossettbrewery.co.uk

Website http://www.ossett-brewery.co.uk/pubs/three-pigeons-halifax

Real ale & Cider: Real Ale and Real Cider

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

View on: Whatpub

A marvellous 1930s survival which combines Art Deco internal styling with one of the best, and most interesting, examples of the northern drinking lobby. Rebuilt in 1932 for Samuel Webster & Son, one of Halifax’s leading brewers of the day, and designed by local architects Jackson & Fox (who undertook all of Websters’ commissions between the Wars), the Three Pigeons preserves an interior that is rare and remarkable. The drinking lobby is a superb centrepiece from which three rooms and the servery all radiate.The lobby itself is the only octagonal version known to survive. There is much else to delight: flush panelling in oak veneer, stylish metal-ribbon signage on doors, geometric patterning in the lobby’s terrazzo floor and stepped plasterwork to its ‘dome’ (echoing the room cornices). Also noteworthy are the timber fire surrounds, fitted seating throughout, and a good bar-back fitting with mirrored panels, one featuring a vintage advertisement for Green Label beer. A sensitive restoration won the pub a prestigious national conservation award in 2007. The kitchen and living room on the plan were brought into public use early in 2014 and, although their character is very different from the 1930s rebuild, the work is of quality and is suitably distanced from the inter-war treasures. The Three Pigeons was statutorily listed in 2010, following a successful application by CAMRA.

The Three Pigeons is among the best-surviving Art Deco pub interiors in England. Rebuilt in 1932 for Samuel Webster & Sons brewery (architects were Jackson and Fox of Halifax) of sandstone 'bricks' - at the top look for a sculpture in white stone of three pigeons. Art Deco was favoured for the Three Pigeons and with much of it remaining the interior is something particularly rare and special. A sensitive refurbishment by the current owners won the pub the CAMRA / English Heritage Conservation Award and the Joe Goodwin Conservation Award in the 2006 CAMRA Pub Design Awards.

Front door inner lobby has full height original oak veneer panelled walls and a terrazzo floor. Original Inner door retains its multiple Art Deco frosted panels with an overlight and beyond is a short passage with original oak veneer panelled walls to two-thirds height. Through a plain glazed door is the octagonal domed 'hall', a central drinking lobby with a terrazzo floor of a geometric design in buff and green that forms an impressive little centrepiece from which three rooms and the serving area all radiate. The walls of the lobby bar have original oak veneer panelling but the original geometric decoration of the lobby ceiling was replaced by a mural of pigeons on a roof executed in the 1980s.

The counter on the rear left in the 'hall' retains its original oak veneer panelled counter front but the top looks modern. The original bar back fitting consists of two display units at right angles to each other and with distinct Art Deco detailing and mirrored panels. To the right a mirror has the lettering advertising ‘Green Label The Perfect Beer’. High up to the right near the entrance for staff is the original bell box with windows labelled ‘Front Door’, ‘Back Door’, ‘Hall’, ‘Sitting Room’, ‘Bedroom 1’, ‘Lounge 1’, ‘2’, and a blank one.

The front right small lounge retains most of its original fixed seating which curves around the bay window, bell pushes above and the original 1930s fireplace surround but the tiles are modern additions, it has a modern linoleum floor and it has lost its door.

The front left small lounge has its original oak veneer door with metal framed sub-rectangular glazed panel with a classic Art Deco ‘Bar Lounge’ wording in metal ribbon lettering across the glazing. The room retains original fixed seating which curves around the bay window, bell pushes above and an excellent Art Deco wood surround fireplace but the tiled interior is modern and it has a modern linoleum floor. The original counter front has oak veneer fluted pilasters but the glazed panels above are modern. On the wall is the newspaper advert announcing the pub opening with both the original and replacement pub illustrated.

The rear right small tap room has its original oak veneer door with metal framed sub-rectangular glazed panel which has, sadly, in recent years, lost its ‘Tap Room’ wording in metal ribbon lettering across the glazing. It retains the original fixed seating all around the room, and here is an intact original Art Deco wood surround fireplace with glazed brick interior – note the 11 square ones with animal designs in relief on them. This room also has a modern linoleum floor and two holes have been cut in the top half of the walls to the front right room and the passage on the left ‘for supervision purposes’.

The floor of the passage has terrazzo flooring and more original oak veneer panelling to two-thirds height. There is a hatch/door for staff to the servery then the toilets. Ladies has terrazzo tiled floor and original oak veneer panelling to two-thirds height on the wall of the ante-room. The original oak veneer door with metal framed sub-rectangular glazed panel remains with its classic Art Deco ‘Ladies’ wording in metal ribbon lettering across the glazing but the wall tiles beyond are modern. The gents also has a terrazzo tiled floor and original oak veneer panelling to two-thirds height on the wall of the ante-room. The original oak veneer door with metal framed sub-rectangular glazed panel remains but has lost it ‘Gents’ Art Deco wording and the toilet fittings are all modern. The back room was originally a private living room and has a bare wood floor, modern brick fireplace and pews for seating.

Other surviving Art Deco interiors can be found at these Heritage Pubs Vale Hotel, Arnold, Nottinghamshire; Test Match, West Bridgeford, Nottinghamshire; Duke (of York), Bloomsbury, London WC1; Portland Arms, Glasgow; Steps Bar, Glasgow; and Frews Bar, Dundee; in the Sporting Memories Lounge.

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