Avon Packet

Gloucestershire & Bristol - Bristol

A historic pub interior of regional importance

Listed Status: Not listed

185-187 Coronation Road
Bristol, Southville
BS3 1RF

Tel: (0117) 987 2431

Real Ale: Yes

Real Cider: Yes

Nearby Station: Bedminster

Station Distance: 1350m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Bedminster)

View on: Whatpub

Built in 1843, with a tiled frontage added around 1900, this delightfully eccentric pub retains three of its original five rooms and many old fittings. From the entrance, you are standing in a passage which led to the back of the pub with the bar area on your left and the former parlour on the right, both with fixed seating.- the separating walls were removed in the 1970s. The panelled bar counter, with consoles along the front, seems to have been shortened and possibly moved as well. Behind the servery, the barman’s exit also acts as a serving hatch. The former parlour has a decorated cast-iron fireplace with tiles in front. This side of the public bar once housed a bottle and jug. Before you reach the rooms at the back, passageways go both left and right – the former, called ‘Bull Shit Corner’ has a portable seat facing the serving hatch. Continuing to the rear, you come to what were the smoke room (left) and tap room (right) – again the separating walls have gone. The latter has fixed seating round the walls and a grand cast-iron fireplace. A pit in the garden is said to have been used for bear-baiting – somewhat unlikely given that bear-baiting was prohibited in 1835.

Built 1843 in a terrace it has a frontage added c.1900 of green and maroon glazed ceramic tiles to the entire ground floor with a fine Art Nouveau frieze. Run by long standing licensees it retains a number of rooms and genuinely old fittings.

Left hand exterior door is no longer in use. Entering the right side entrance, you have the bar area to your left. To your right is what used to be the parlour. Both areas have fixed seating with red as the theme of colour. You are standing in what was once a passageway leading to a bottle & jug then two rooms at the back. The walls separating those as well as the front two have been removed. (Customers estimate those went in the 1970s, before the current landlord moved in.) The bar counter has diagonal-patterned wooden panelling (with red worn paint) on its face, with consoles along its front. From plans, the counter appears to have been shortened and moved to the left hand wall or just shortened. (There is no immediate indication of it having been cut at the right-hand end.) The end has no consoles. Note the rare old Draught Bass dispensers with mirrored fronts that are still in use.

The first window of two sills in the bar has a bum perch built in. It appears to be what was the doorway before the pub was extended (from plans dated 1873) up to when it belonged to George’s Brewery. Behind the servery is the barman’s exit which also acts as a serving hatch. The lower shelves to the bar-back look very old but the landlord has said he fitted the upper shelving of the bar back i.e. the copper backing and glass shelves are modern and the cabinet is old with sides painted a deep pink..

What was the parlour (the front right-hand room) has a cast iron fireplace with some parts of the decorative patterns painted. On the floor in front of it are tiles about 2" sq in size. As in the bar, the window frame is timber, with vent windows which lean inwards on metal stays when open.

This side of the public bar used to house a bottle & jug. Behind that before you reach the rooms at the rear, are passageways to both the left and right, both with dark green vertical timber panelling up to shoulder height. The one to the left called ‘Bull Shit Corner’ has a portable seat facing the serving hatch, with the same red upholstery as the rooms just described. Doorways down to the ladies’ toilet and up to the landlord’s accommodated are at the end. The right-hand passageway leads to the gents’ toilet. Also, the stairway down to the cellars is housed in there. Note the figure ‘5' shows on a door of a small storage area down there which was previously a requirement of licensing magistrates.

Continuing to the rear, you enter what used to be the smoke room (left-hand side) and tap room (right-hand side). The theme colour is green in these. Fixed seating surrounds the walls in the tap room. Seating against the rear exterior wall is additional to what shows on an 1873 plan. A cast iron fireplace stands here, looking rather grand with a large timber surrounding and mantlepiece.

The area to the left-hand side has a doorway to the beer garden with a duck pond. (Also in the garden is a pit which was once used for bear-baiting.) The doorway was once a window. A small modern gas fire stands adjacent to the exterior wall, surrounded by brick-shaped stonework. Some fixed seating appears here, but ordinary chairs, more. A shove ha’penny table of unknown vintage also occupies the room.

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