Milbank Arms

County Durham - Barningham

Listed Status: II

Norbeck Bank
DL11 7DW

Tel: 07494 582444



Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Customers could almost be forgiven for thinking they had stumbled into someone’s house as there is no bar counter of any kind. Instead, service is at the top of the cellar steps. Some dispensers are attached to the wall in this area: around the staircase is a collection of over 2,000 spirit miniatures. Only one of the original three rooms, the tap room, is in regular use. It has half-height panelling, fixed seating, a baffle by the door and an old fireplace with new tiles. The Domino Room is occasionally used for meetings but the dining room has been shut since 1969. The pub opened as the Milbank Hotel in 1860 and is named after the local landowning family who still own the pub. The present licensee, Neil Turner, took over in 1987 from his father who had been in charge since 1939. Opens 7pm and Sun lunchtime.

Rebuilt in 1857 and opened as the Milbank Hotel in 1860, it is named after the local landowning family who own Barningham Park as well as the pub and a majority of the houses in the village and local farms. Since 1860 there has only been three names over the door with Sam Turner taking over in 1939 and since 1987 it has been Neil Turner. Entering the pub you could be forgiven to thinking you are in someone's house as there is no bar counter, you stand at the top of the cellar steps to get served. This area has some dispensers attached to the wall and around the staircase to the cellar is a collection of, at last count, 2021 miniatures which started in 1963. This is one of only eight traditional pubs left in the whole of the UK without a bar counter including the other Heritage Pubs the Cock, Broom, Bedfordshire; Red Lion, Ampney St Peter, Gloucestershire; North Star, Steventon, Oxfordshire; Tuckers Grave, Faulkland, Somerset; Rose & Crown, Huish Episcopi, Somerset; Kings Head, Laxfield, Suffolk; and Manor Arms, Rushall, West Midlands.

Only one of the original three rooms is in regular use which is the tap room on the left. This small room has partly old half-height panelling, fixed seating all around the walls, baffle by the door and its old fireplace has new tiles. Note the cocktail menu listing 85 with the most popular being Sex on the Beach and Snowball. Parties of people come from nearby towns to sample them and as the pub does not serve food, some folks bring their own!

A carpet now covers the flagstone floor in the passage and main room. The Domino Room to the left is now only used occasionally for meetings and in fact is in use as a private room during the daytime. The room with a '1' on the door to the right of the passage was only brought into use at very busy times such as Christmas closed in 1969. It was called the dining room as it was where villagers came on the 2nd Tuesday in January and July to pay their rents and the licensee cooked a meal for the tenants. In summer there is a local outdoor quoits league and the pub plays on the green outside the pub on Monday evenings. Outside gents'. Closed Mon. to Sat. lunchtimes.

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