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.

EDINBURGH & THE LOTHIANS - Edinburgh, Leith, Central Bar

An historic pub interior of national importance

7-9 Leith Walk, Edinburgh, EH6 8LN

Tel: (0131) 555 2006


Listed Status: Grade A

Listed Building Reference: 26781

Listing Date: 1983

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

A down-to-earth drinkers’ pub at the foot of Leith Walk and which has one of Scotland’s most stunning interiors. It was built in 1899 to designs by one of Scotland’s leading pub architects, Peter Lyle Henderson. This tall, nearly square space started life as the bar for Leith’s long-gone Central Station (closed 1972: see entries 104 and 187 for historic English station buffets). Either side are entrance porches (with mosaic flooring and stained glass windows), leading into a room in which the walls are completely covered with Minton Hollins tiles. The side walls are notable for four tiled panels of sporting scenes – yacht racing, hare-coursing, golf and shooting – with tall, narrow mirrors between. The U-shaped counter backs on to a stunning oak gantry which has glazed cupboards for cigars etc, and sprouts the figures of four griffins. In the middle of the servery there is the base of a small island gantry. On the left are four U-shaped seating areas. The ceiling is papier-maché with Jacobean detailing. Window screens with coloured glass bear the name of John Doig who was the first proprietor. At the back there were two sitting rooms originally but they are now converted to store rooms. Listing upgraded to A in 2008 as a result of survey work by CAMRA.

Central Bar, Edinburgh, Leith
Island Bar Interior