Historic Pub Interiors

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A pub with a nationally important historic interior

A pub with a nationally important historic interior, the result of CAMRA's pioneering effort to identify and help protect and promote the most important historic pub interiors in the country.

WEST MIDLANDS - Birmingham, Digbeth, Woodman

An historic pub interior of national importance

New Canal Street, Birmingham, B5 5LG

Directions: Opp old Curzon Street by Millennium Point

Tel: (0121) 643 4960

Website: http://thewoodmanbirmingham.co.uk/

Opening Hours: 11-11 Mon-Thu; 11-Midnight Fri; 11-11 Sat; Closed Sun

Real Ale & Cider: Real Ale and Real Cider

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Birmingham Moor Street) and Bus Stop

Food: Lunchtime and Evening Meals (12-7 Mon-Sat; Closed Sun)

Listed Status: Grade II

List Entry Number: 1234088

Listing Date: 1985

View this pub in WhatPub for full details of this pub's facilities

Built in 1896/7 to the designs of James & Lister Lea, this terracotta and tile corner pub stood, for many years, in an urban wasteland and under threat of demolition for road widening. With the recent creation of the Eastside City Park around it, and with the HS2 terminus scheduled to materialise close by, its future now seems assured. After being shut for several years, it was rescued by Linford Developing Heritage and Birmingham Inns, sympathetically renovated and reopened in September 2013.

The corner entrance leads into a small glazed vestibule and then the main bar. Originally this doorway accessed just the public bar with a screen on the right (removed many years ago) dividing this from the lounge (the position of the door into which is still discernible on the Albert Street frontage). The now single L-shaped room is dominated by the splendid bar counter and even grander bar back. The central mirror on the latter was reputedly intended for the nearby (and currently closed) Eagle & Tun but someone supposedly got the delivery wrong. What's more, the Fox & Grapes up the road (now demolished) had a bar front featuring little woodmen carrying axes and bundles of wood another botched delivery? The top of the bar back was originally adorned with a large Ansells clock but this was stolen when vandals broke in whilst the pub was closed they also destroyed many of the etched glass door windows but these have thankfully been carefully replicated, based on that from the smoke room door which, thankfully, survived. The room also has much excellent Minton tiling which has benefited greatly from steam cleaning whilst the ceiling and cornice have been repainted in their original colours.

To the right of the main bar is a small drinking corridor, also accessible from a now unused door to the street a hatch to the bar once served as an off-sales. This corridor, with fine Minton floor tiles throughout, has an angled door to the smoke room then narrows on its way to the (now relocated) toilets.

The smoke room itself is a marvel. It has bench seating all round with wood panelling to half-ceiling height. Above the benches this sports a simple indented pattern and a collection of bell pushes. The top half of the walls is beautifully tiled. The lovely marble fireplace also has some attractive tiles showing pastoral scenes and old roses and, above it, an old mirror is set in the tiles. A large hatch to the bar has a glazed panel above.

Returning to the main bar, and ahead of the corner entrance, a snug occupies what had been a very plain room at the back, brought into public use at a much later date. The bar counter was cut back to allow an entrance to it. The small internal stained-glass window was found upstairs during renovations (still ongoing) and relocated to this new position.

Woodman, Birmingham, Digbeth
Woodman, Birmingham, Digbeth
Woodman, Birmingham, Digbeth
Bar Counter
Woodman, Birmingham, Digbeth
Bar Back
Woodman, Birmingham, Digbeth
Smoke Room
Woodman, Birmingham, Digbeth
Tiled Lobby