A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: A17 - 19 Drury Street
Something of a Glasgow institution, the Horse Shoe is one of the finest examples of Scotland’s Victorian island-bar pubs. It was built in 1870 and remodelled in 1885–7 by publican John Scouller, then again in 1901, when the partitions between sitting rooms and the bar were removed. The horseshoe motif is said to derive from the fact that Scouller was a keen equestrian. At just over 104 ft round the outer circumference, the counter is the second longest in the UK after the Falcon at Clapham Junction, London, which weighs in at a mighty 125ft. The initials ‘JYW’ in glazed screens on the counter and elsewhere refer to John Young Whyte, who succeeded Scouller in 1923. The main island gantry includes eight spirit casks ends on their sides (used until the 1930s) with, unusually, two taps in each. There is a second, small circular gantry with a marble shelf but its top seems modern. On the side walls there are two horseshoe-shaped fireplaces: the similar features on the rear wall seem to have always been just ornamental. At the front is a clock with the twelve letters of ‘The Horse Shoe’ instead of numbers. The panelled walls have large bell-pushes towards the rear, mostly set in decorative panels. The skylight at the rear right was added in 1985. Listing upgraded to A in 2008 as a result of survey work by CAMRA.
One of the finest examples of the island bar, open-plan pubs of Scotland. It has the second longest continuous bar counter in the UK measuring 31.8 m on the outer circumference, as opposed to the 32.6 m at the Falcon, Battersea, London SW11. Built in 1870 and remodelled in 1885-7 by John Scouller and again in 1901, when the partitions between sitting rooms and the bar were removed. The elongated horseshoe-shaped bar counter was also extended at the rear. The initials JYW in small, etched glazed screens on the counter refer to John Young Whyte who succeeded Scouller in 1923. The island gantry includes eight end-on casks with, unusually, two taps in each (cf the Central Bar, Renton): until the 1930s, they were used to dispense spirits, including the house specialty 'Lachie', a ten-year-old blend of Highland malt whiskies.
On the side walls there are two horseshoe-shaped fireplaces: the similar features on the back wall are ornamental rather than fireplaces. At the front is a clock with the letters 'The Horseshoe' instead of numbers. The wooden-panelled walls with decorative strap-work at the top have large bell-pushes, mostly in decorative panels around the room. At the front are two good stained glass windows screens and two large mirrors, one with 'JYW' and the other advertising 'Lachie' whisky. The upstairs lounge with modern fittings is a popular venue for karaoke from 8pm each evening and 4pm on Sundays.