A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II47 Springfield Road
An opulent red brick and terracotta pub of 1903 for the Oldfield Brewery of Poolstock, Wigan, by local architects Heaton & Ralph. The main entrance leads to a spacious drinking lobby which has a magnificent counter screen with columns and glazed sashes. There is also lots of decorative dado tiling. Right of the Rylands Street entrance is a very small public bar with a modern counter superstructure obviously modelled on that in the lobby. Either side of the main entrance is a pair of rooms, that on the right (known as the commercial room) with a little timber vestibule at its entrance. That on the left has been knocked through to an area behind and which opens on to the lobby via a wide, seemingly original arch. Then yet further back is another space opening on to the lobby, now accessed through a crude, modern opening. The spacious billiard (now function) room is a later addition (it is not shown in a (?)1920s advertisement for the pub displayed in the lobby). Its ceiling and etched glass lettering are quite plain and show how taste became simpler as the 20th century progressed. There was an off-sales on the side street but this has been lost as, sadly, have the once-famous massive bowling greens, sold off in post-war times for a housing estate. They had stands that could accommodate up to 2,000 people to watch the play).
An impressive three-storey building of red brick and orange terracotta in Free Renaissance style with a turret and impressive pediments over the two main entrances. It was built 1903 by Heaton and Ralph of Wigan for Oldfield Brewery and retains most of its ornate Edwardian multi-roomed interior though there has been some opening out. An old bell-box high up in the lobby bar shows 'Billiard RM', 'Gents RM', 'Commercial RM', 'Lounge', 'Front DR’ and 'Sitting RM’ and all six are still readily identifiable.
The chief glory is the huge island screened servery, a symphony in heavily carved mahogany, which is one of the finest in the country - the lower rising sashes are missing but that's all. It's arguably worth recognising as a Heritage Pub for this alone. There is though much else to admire, notably lots of Art Nouveaux design green tiling in the inner lobby, the passage leading to the lobby bar and the lobby bar itself. There are also etched windows, original fireplaces, ornate cornices and some original fixed seating.
The inner lobby has a good dado of green tiles with Art Nouveau-style designs and the inner door is situated in a full height screen with etched glass side panels. The passage leading to the lobby bar and around the lobby bar itself is a further dado of green tiles with Art Nouveau designs. To the left of the lobby is the Darby Lounge, formerly the Front Room and Lounge, with a doorway into the Front Room and a big mahogany arched opening between the lobby bar and the lounge. A montage photo in the pub, dating from shortly after the opening, shows that this wide arch opening has always been the arrangement. The lounge retains original fixed seating with bell-pushes and two Victorian tiled, cast-iron and wood surround fireplaces; also a good cornice and is now a venue for karaoke. On the far left in a single-storey extension is the former Billiard Room, now a function room. It retains two sets of ‘Billiard’, ‘Room’ windows advertising he billiard room: the fixed seating appears post-war but there are signs of older bell-pushes above.
The land has now been sold off for housing. The Commercial Room on the front right has an unusual vestibule-like screened entrance with original fixed seating and bell pushes all around, a ‘Commercial Room’ etched window and others, but some original ones lost, and retains the refreshed Edwardian tiled, new cast-iron and wood surround fireplace with pillars holding up the shelves above. Another dado tiled lobby on the right (Rylands Street) side with a ‘Springfield Hotel’ etched panel in the inner door situated in a full-height screen. A door off the lobby leads into the Vault (or Gents' Room) with a new tiled floor and an impressive carved mahogany screened servery with reaches up to the high ceiling with a number of columns and glazed panels, but this was installed by Tetley Walker in 1990 as a copy of the lobby bar one. This small room has a very good cornice, wall bench seating attached to the dado panelling, a ‘Bar’ etched window and domino tables.
Opened up to the corridor near the toilets on 1990 is the small ‘Sitting Room’ with a pool table. The fixed seating here looks post-war and there are some stained glass windows. An old advertising poster in the lobby bar area shows the former bowling greens with the wording 'Noted for its spacious bowling greens recognised to be the finest in the country. Special facilities to cater for charabanc parties etc. covered stands accommodate 2,000 spectators.' The land at the rear of the pub was sold off in post war times and the bowling greens were where there is now a housing estate. The pub was sold by Punch Taverns in 2012 and real ale installed by the new owner.