Close Menu

First Victorian pub in England gains Grade I listing

Historic England has upgraded the listings of 11 pubs in order to protect their historic interiors, including a Liverpool pub, which becomes the first purpose-built Victorian pub in England to be Grade I listed.

Liverpool’s Philharmonic Dining Rooms pub

A further two Grade II* and eight Grade II pubs have seen their listings updated to include more detailed information about their interiors. This includes four of the eight pubs in the UK that have no bar counter.

The list of pubs examined by Historic England was proposed by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as part of an on-going collaboration between the two bodies to project the UK’s pubs.

Duncan Wilson, chief Executive of Historic England, commented: “English pubs are some of our best-loved community buildings and are often threatened with closure so we are delighted to see 11 historic pubs receiving further protection. We are proud that the Liverpool Philharmonic pub, a remarkable survival from the Victorian era, has been given a Grade I listing which will help maintain and preserve its outstanding interior fittings and exterior fabric for the future.

“The 11 pubs range from the opulent Philharmonic in Liverpool and the picturesque Rose and Crown in Somerset, to a London pub with links to Bartholomew Fair. All of them fully deserve the protection given by listing.”

Paul Ainsworth, chairman of CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group, added: “So few of England’s 40,500 pubs retain interiors which have not suffered major alterations over the years. CAMRA has identified 280 pubs whose interiors it considers to be of national historic importance, and we feel it is vital for these precious survivors to be preserved for future generations to enjoy.

“The majority of these pubs are listed and the new detailed listing descriptions will enhance their protected status and give the public more information about the delights they contain.”

Scroll through to see each of the 11 listed pubs in more detail. 


The exterior of the Philharmonic Dining Rooms

Philharmonic Dining Rooms, Hope Street

The men’s toilets.

Liverpool’s Philharmonic has been upgraded to Grade I listed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England. Built from 1898-1900 by Liverpudlian architect Walter W Thomas, the city centre pub was first given Grade II* listing status in 1966. The three-storey building was upgraded in recognition of its architectural quality and interior.

The exterior of the pub features elaborate Art Nouveau carvings, metal work by architect and designer Henry Bloomfield Bare, and stone sculptures in low relief. The interior boasts intricate mahogany panelling and plasterwork, along with stained glass. The men’s loos are a particular highlight, surviving in their original Victorian form.

The Philharmonic now joins the top 2.5% of the protected buildings, which include Buckingham Palace and Chatsworth House, which have the highest listed status.

The Vines, Lime Street

Another Liverpool pub to receive an upgrade was Grade II* The Vines pub on Lime Street. Built in 1907, The Vines’ Edwardian interior features original mahogany woodwork, authentic plasterwork and a large stained glass dome in the former billiards room.

The pub also has a separate lounge bar, public bar and smoking room, in addition to a number of striking fireplaces.

The Vines.

Peter Kavanagh’s, Egerton Street 

Also in Liverpool, Peter Kavanagh’s is a Grade II listed pub that was redesigned by Peter Kavanagh, its former landlord. Among the original and unique features include carved corbels or wall brackets which are thought to be caricatures of the pub’s regulars.

The pub’s tables, also designed by the creative Kavanagh, have channels for spilt drinks as well as built-in ashtrays.

Peter Kavanagh’s

London and West Sussex

Hand and Shears.

Hand and Shears, Smithfield, London

The Hand and Shears is one of two London pubs from the Victorian era to have had their listings updated. The pub has retained its original saloon and private bars, as well as a range of late 19th century fittings. It also has links to the Bartholomew Fair, which ran every year in August from 1133 to 1855. It is believed the fair’s Pye Poudre Court convened at the pub in order to main order and settle merchants’ disputes.

The Coach and Horses

Coach and Horses, Soho, London

The Grade II listed Greek Street pub has been long associated with a host of famous writers, artists, musicians and actors, among them Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud, Peter O’Toole and John Hurt. It was also the subject of a play by Keith Waterhouse in 1989 called Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell, in which its interior was recreated on the stage of the Apollo Theatre. The pub’s listing now includes reference to its more recent past, as well as to its historic beginnings as an early 18th century pub of the same name. The current building was constructed in the 1840s, with its cast iron columns added in 1889. The interior was later remodelled in the 1930s by Taylor, Walker & Co.

Blue Ship, The Haven, Billingshurst 

The Blue Ship has had its entry updated to reflect its older origins. The Grade II listed pub was originally thought to date from the 18th century or earlier, but it is now known that it was a 16th century cottage that was converted into a pub in the 1850s. It was then remodelled and expanded later in the 19th century. Historic England notes that the pub is a good example of how vernacular buildings were transformed into pubs following the Beer Act of 1830. The Blue Ship is one of eight known pubs in the UK to have no bar counter. The listing also now references its rare taproom ‘servery’ arrangement which has been in place since the 1850s.

The exterior of The Blue Ship.
The interior of the Blue Ship with taproom servery

Dorset and Wiltshire

The Haunch of Venison

Haunch of Venison, Salisbury, Wiltshire

The Grade II* listed Haunch of Venison in Salisbury dates from the 15th century, and Historic England notes that there is evidence of a pub of the same name on the site since the 1300s. Once a church house, the building was later converted to a pub and later refurbished in 1909. It retains a traditional layout of divided drinking spaces, ladies snug, and fittings from its 1909 refurb including a rare bank of spirit pumps.

Haunch of Venison

Square and Compass, Worth Matravers, Dorset

Square and Compass

The Square and Compass is a Grade II listed, 18th century pub, which was extended in the 19th century. Like the Blue Ship, it also has no bar counter, instead boasting serving hatches and a rear servery – a rare survival according to Historic England.

Square and Compass interior 

Somerset and Staffordshire

Rose and Crown, Huish Episcopi, Somerset

Grade II listed Rose and Crown is one of two pubs in Somerset to have their listings updated. Dating from around 1800, it is another pub without a bar counter, and instead has a walk-in servery area, with shelves and hand pumps. Refitted during the interwar period, the pub retains features from that time as well as its original flagstone tiles, timber joinery and the fireplace. At the rear of the pub is a 19th century skittle alley.

Rose and Crown interior

Tucker’s Grave Inn, Radstock, Somerset

Tucker’s Grave

Fellow Grade II listed pub Tucker’s Grave Inn is believed to be named after the burial site of local farmworker Edward Tucker. Tucker took his own life in 1747, and as was the practice at the time, was buried at a crossroads nearby rather than the churchyard. Originally an 18th century cottage, Tucker’s Grave, like others on this list, was converted into a pub and licensed by the early 1800s. It is the fourth pub in the list to have no bar counter. Instead casks of beer and cider are stacked below the window of the central public bar. The pub also retains its hand-painted signage to the taproom. Thought to date from the 19th century, Historic England notes it could be among the earliest known to survive in England.

The Red Lion, Rugeley Staffordshire

The Red Lion

The Red Lion is a Grade II listed 19th century pub which started out life as a house in the early 1600s. Built in the centre of Rugeley, it is one of the market town’s last surviving 17th century buildings. It retains many of its original features as well as elements from different stages of its development. An unusual element is a salt safe, as well as panelling and fireplaces from the inter-war period.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No