A historic pub interior of some regional importance
Listed Status: II20 St John's Street
Tel: (01380) 725426
Real Ale: Yes
Public Transport: Near Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
Brick and timber-framed pub dating from 1630 which is remarkably unspoilt considering its town centre location. A flagstoned entrance passage leads to the courtyard. On the left, the bare-boarded public bar is now one U-shaped room around an old servery; the panelling on the counter front was transferred to the ceiling (!) in 1996 and replaced by part of a 17th-century French church door. The full-height wood panelling with bench seating is of some age. At least one other partition wall formerly separated the rear section; the existence of two pre-war medieval-style stone fireplaces confirms this. The stained glass panels by the entrance are a 1996 addition. The rear area has old dado panelling with an old bench attached plus church pews. Up one step at the back of the bar, a plain room is used for pool. To the right of the passage is the Shoot Room – the blocked-up door was once the main pub entrance. Of special interest here is the circular opening in the south wall with a metal tube extending 43 feet downwards with a target at the end. It is said to have been installed in 1903 to train locals with guns as Germany re-armed and is still used by the pub’s team in the local small-bore rifles league.
Brick and timber framed pub dating from 1630 which is remarkably unspoilt considering its town centre location. Enter through wood swing doors to a flag-stoned passage leading to the courtyard. Panelling on the passage was removed in 1996 to reveal original brickwork. Door on the left with ‘Bar’ etched panel leads into the bare boarded public bar which is now one U-shaped room around an old servery consisting of a bar counter and bar back fitting on a screen projecting from the from wall. The old bar has a front where the tongue and groove was removed in 1996 (now forms part of the ceiling!) and replaced by parts of 17C French church doors.
An original part glazed screen forms part of bar back with shelves both ancient and modern attached. Full height wood panelling and bench seating is original (note the gap to the rear of the benches to accommodate tailcoats of gents using them!!) from unspecified date including benches attached to the back of the screen. There was originally at least one other partition wall to separate the rear section - look on the beam and you will see the figure ‘4’ indicating where the door to the rear room was situated. Partition walls were removed in 1967 without permission! The presence of two medieval style stone fireplaces from c.1920 confirms it was originally two rooms. Bar has been altered, with a hatch door removed that originally served the rear room. Victorian stained and leaded glass panels by entrance door were added in 1996 by Ailsa and George Cuttell (tenants who took over a derelict, neglected pub in 1996, and whose expertise was in antique restoration - hence the mish-mash you see today).
The rear area has old dado panelling with an old bench attached to one piece and also church pews. Another bare room (used for pool) one step up at the rear of the bar with some old benches and beyond this is the kitchen. The room to the right of the passageway is the Shoot room, with old tongue and groove panelling installed in 1996. The blocked up entrance door was originally the main entrance to the pub. Green glazed brick, cast iron and wood surround fireplace from late 19C.
Of most interest is the circular opening in the south wall with a 20 inch diameter metal tube that extends 43 feet down the inside of the building with a target at the far end. Said to be installed in 1903 to train locals in the use of firearms due to fears of German rearmament, it remains in use today as the pub has a team in the Devizes and District Miniature Rifle League which uses .22 small bore rifles. To the rear is the courtyard, now covered over and with modern toilets.