Three star - A pub interior of exceptional national historic importance
Listed Status: II30 West Street
Tel: (020) 8422 3155
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: Harrow-on-the-Hill
Station Distance: 850m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Harrow-on-the-Hill) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
An early Edwardian pub that retains much of its original layout, including bar counters, bar back and a rare glazed screen.
The Castle was rebuilt by Fuller, Smith & Turner in 1901 but may have originated in the early 18th century. It consists of four rooms, the most interesting of which is the main space because this still has a timber screen (with low service door) dividing it into two. There must have been another such screen further back, since there is a blocked doorway down the side of the pub which would have accessed a snug or off-sales. On the right are a pair of smaller rooms, the front one of which has a tiny hatch to the servery: the rear one has a large glazed hatch. At the back is the final room, used as a restaurant, with wood-block flooring and imitation panelling. Parts of the fireplaces are modern insertions. Outside there is highly attractive ironwork over the main entrance and a mosaic floor panel with the pub’s name.
Not far from Harrow School, the Castle was re-built in 1901 and has kept most of its original layout and fittings. The only real change is shown by an unused door down the side passage. When you are inside you would not know it was a door: it was the entrance to a separate off sales and the partition creating it was removed some time ago and the tiny area absorbed into the rear bar. Outside there is attractive 'The Castle' ironwork over the main entrance and a mosaic floor panel also with the name of the pub.
The front bare-boarded bar retains its original curving counter but the pot shelves on both bar counters are modern. This small room has a fine vestibule entrance with the figure '1' on the interior side - formerly a requirement of the licensing magistrates. The front bar is separated from the rear bar by a splendid and rare part glazed partition almost reaching the ceiling which has a low service door with only three feet headroom originally for staff to get from one part of the pub to another.
The rear bar also has a vestibule entrance with leaded glass panels and the figure '3' on the inside. This bare-boarded floor room retains its original curving counter and bar back shelves on a glazed series of windows surrounding a (now unused) hatch serving the rear room on the right. To the left and right are two small back fittings with bevelled mirror panels. The original fireplace remains but it has some modern tiles and the gents' in this area has been modernised. At the back a door with the figure '5' on it leads to a large room described in the listing description as a 'Billiard Room', which has a wood-block flooring and imitation panelling on the walls. The door on the left originally led to the gents', and the fireplace has some modern additions.
There are two small rooms on the right. The front bare boarded one (now called the Clock Room) has an old cast-iron fireplace and a very small window from the servery perhaps 'for supervision purposes'. The rear right small room (now called the Snug) with doorways to/from the front and rear was hitherto served via the (now unused) large hatch to the servery. The dado panelling looks modern and the room has lost its fireplace.