Admiral Benbow

Cornwall - Penzance

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II

46 Chapel Street
Penzance
TR18 4AF

OS ref: SW474301

Tel: (01736) 363448

Real ale & Cider: Real Ale

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Penzance) and Bus Stop

View on: Whatpub

An outrageous pub! Begun in the late 1950s when themed pubs were all the rage and continued over a couple of decades to bring ashore a nautical and piratical extravaganza, including a roof-top shootout, presumably with the (unseen) Excise. It’s the work of Roland Morris, a diver, who included much salvage. It is a piecemeal work with the front bar, for example, evolving over the years. An early work was the Great Cabin which evokes a sailing captain’s quarters (the wheel seems bit misplaced!), normally open for dining in summer (but normally viewable on request) – likewise the later, Wreck Bar, upstairs.

18th century pub with an extraordinary interior created by owner Roland Morris, who was a diver, between 1950 and 1960, constructed from ships' salvage and wrecks. The fascia board of decorative character was added in 1959 (source; Grade II Listed Building description). The public bar at the front right has a sloping bar counter with unusual frontage and a copper top that was presumably added in the 1950s; the bar back is a mixture of old and new shelves. There are some small seating bays on stone bases, small round tables have copper tops and panelled ceiling. On the left are more seating areas, a brick fireplace with carved mantelpiece (another wrecked ship item) and nautical artefacts everywhere. Through a doorway are more seating areas and a door with coloured glass panels which leads to a passage from which you can access the Great Cabin or go upstairs to the Wreck Bar.

The Great Cabin is a spectacular themed room, an intact reconstruction of the interior of a sailing ship, utilising fittings from wrecked ships to re-create the aft cabin of a Privateer, though there appears to be some later 'standard' items of bench tables and seating. It is relevant to note that this room is laid out as a restaurant and used as such in the summer season. In winter it is only used for occasional functions, but at quiet times ask the staff for permission to view. Upstairs there is the Wreck Room which is again only used in the summer season, the rest of the time being used as a store room. Artefacts and trinkets are not set out in any order or theme. At the front of the first floor is the Lady Hamilton Bar accessed via a staircase just inside the front door, or through the Wreck Bar.

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