A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II127 Great Bridgewater Street
This pub presents an amazing sight with its late Victorian green ceramic-faced exterior, sitting incongruously amid so much later high-rise development, but the interior is very special too. A dog-leg corridor serves as a drinking lobby, lined with a dado of green and cream tiles and defined on the west side by a glazed screen forming the back of the servery. The most impressive room is that facing Great Bridgewater Street. It has baffles by the door, fixed seating, bell-pushes, a Victorian fireplace and a bar counter with fielded panels and pilasters. The stained glass screen over the counter only dates from 1982 but was skillfully crafted to match the panels in the lobby. The rear lounge and smoke room have fixed seating and bell-pushes, the latter also having an elaborate Victorian marble fire surround. The pub was saved from demolition for a road scheme after campaigning by CAMRA and others in the 1980s.
This pub is an amazing sight. There are a number of pubs (especially in Birmingham) where interior walls are covered in tiles, but here the display is outside. This simple, two-storey mid-Victorian building was remodelled about 1900 and given a ceramic facing. One the ground floor it is yellowy-green, and above the orange name band it is cream. The fascia wording of 'Peveril Of The Peak' on two sides and 'Wines & Spirits' on the end of the building were covered by Wilsons Brewery standard signage until removed in the 1980s. The internal porches on both sides have fancy flanking tile bands of red, cream and green and good timber and glazed detailing. The interior has three rooms and a dog-leg corridor which also serves as a drinking lobby.
The drinking corridor is lined with dado of green and cream tiles, both plain and embossed. The west side of corridor is defined by timber and glazed screen forming the back to server with stained glass in upper parts with florid Art Nouveau detailing and serving hatches below. Bar counter has fielded panels and pilasters. The most impressive room is the one fronting Great Bridgewater Street. Through a doorway with a draught screen either side is a small wedge-shaped room with c.1900 fixed seating, bell pushes in the panel above and a Victorian tiled and cast iron fireplace. Similar bar counter with fielded panels and pilasters. In c.1982 Wilsons Brewery added the pot shelf - a stained and leaded screen over the bar counter in the public bar - take a close look and you can see it was carefully crafted to match the stained and leaded panels in the lobby bar. There is a 'Public Bar' etched window in the door.
The rear Lounge has old fixed seating and bell pushes. The Smoke Room has fixed seating, bell pushes and elaborate Victorian marble surround and tiled, cast iron fireplace. There is a tiled dado on the walls leading to the toilets. Three episodes of the TV Detective series 'Cracker' were filmed here and every time ITV show a repeat landlady Nancy Swannick (the back of her head appears) receives a cheque for £75 and her son Thomas who was filmed handing over a pint of beer - only his hand appears - also gets a cheque for £75!! In 2011 Nancy Swanick celebrated 40 years behind the bar.