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Historic pubs are being listed to save them from being turned into flats

Metro logo Metro 15/06/2022 Gergana Krasteva
Some of England’s favourite pubs have been given extra protection from being sold off and closed (Picture: PA) © Provided by Metro Some of England’s favourite pubs have been given extra protection from being sold off and closed (Picture: PA)

Landmark pubs across England have been given new protection status to save them from being turned into flats.

Whitelock’s Ale House in Leeds city centre is one of 11 famous watering holes getting Grade II* heritage status on the advice of Historic England.

Described by poet Sir John Betjeman as ‘the very heart of Leeds’, the 19th century building became a celebrity hotspot over the years, and even counted Lawrence of Arabia actor Peter O’Toole as a regular.

Whitelock’s is joined by another Victorian pub – the Prince Alfred in Maida Vale, north-west London – which Historic England called ‘one of the best examples of urban pubs of its era’.

The two pubs are now among the top 5.8% of protected buildings in England, joining the likes of the Old Bailey and other internationally renowned buildings.

Southeast London’s rare Victorian corner boozer, Blythe Hill Tavern in Forest Hill, is now a Grade II building, as is the inter-war pub, the Admiral Vernon in Dagenham.

The 1930s interior in the Admiral Vernon Public House in Dagenham is evidently almost completely intact (Picture: PA) © Provided by Metro The 1930s interior in the Admiral Vernon Public House in Dagenham is evidently almost completely intact (Picture: PA) The pub was built in the ‘Brewers Tudor’ style (Picture: The Historic England Archive) © Provided by Metro The pub was built in the ‘Brewers Tudor’ style (Picture: The Historic England Archive) Caption: EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JUNE 15 Undated handout photo issued by Historic England of Admiral Vernon Public House in Dagenham, which has upgraded to Grade II as part of a project to help save rare historic pub interiors. Issue date: Wednesday June 15, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story HERITAGE Pub. Photo credit should read: Chris Redgrave/Historic England/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder. Photographer: Chris Redgrave/Historic England Provider: PA Source: PA (Credits: PA) © Provided by Metro Caption: EMBARGOED TO 0001 WEDNESDAY JUNE 15 Undated handout photo issued by Historic England of Admiral Vernon Public House in Dagenham, which has upgraded to Grade II as part of a project to help save rare historic pub interiors. Issue date: Wednesday June 15, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story HERITAGE Pub. Photo credit should read: Chris Redgrave/Historic England/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder. Photographer: Chris Redgrave/Historic England Provider: PA Source: PA (Credits: PA) The recognisable façade of the 19th-century Red Lion in Westminster (Picture: Chris Redgrave) © Provided by Metro The recognisable façade of the 19th-century Red Lion in Westminster (Picture: Chris Redgrave) The Prince Alfred in Maida Vale has a delightfully ornate wood and glass interior (Picture: Chris Redgrave) © Provided by Metro The Prince Alfred in Maida Vale has a delightfully ornate wood and glass interior (Picture: Chris Redgrave) The Blythe Hill Tavern in Forest Hill is now a Grade II building (Picture: PA) © Provided by Metro The Blythe Hill Tavern in Forest Hill is now a Grade II building (Picture: PA) The 1920s fittings have survived (Picture: Historic England) © Provided by Metro The 1920s fittings have survived (Picture: Historic England) The North Star dates back to the late-16th or 17th centuries and may have originally been a house (Picture: James O. Davies) © Provided by Metro The North Star dates back to the late-16th or 17th centuries and may have originally been a house (Picture: James O. Davies) The Harrow Inn in Petersfield is a historical 18th-century roadside pub once used by cattle drovers (Picture: Chris Redgrave) © Provided by Metro The Harrow Inn in Petersfield is a historical 18th-century roadside pub once used by cattle drovers (Picture: Chris Redgrave) Whitelock’s Ale House is one of the best examples of a late 19th-century upmarket luncheon bar (Picture: Historic England) © Provided by Metro Whitelock’s Ale House is one of the best examples of a late 19th-century upmarket luncheon bar (Picture: Historic England) The Victoria in Great Harwood, Lancashire, was also recognised (Picture: Historic England Archive) © Provided by Metro The Victoria in Great Harwood, Lancashire, was also recognised (Picture: Historic England Archive) The King’s Head in Laxfield, Suffolk, is a 16th-century pub (Picture: Historic England Archive) © Provided by Metro The King’s Head in Laxfield, Suffolk, is a 16th-century pub (Picture: Historic England Archive) Its servery, which is also the ‘cellar’ has no counter, with beer served directly from casks (Picture: Historic England Archive) © Provided by Metro Its servery, which is also the ‘cellar’ has no counter, with beer served directly from casks (Picture: Historic England Archive)

A further seven already-protected boozers have had their listings upgraded to reflect their historic interiors.

They include the Red Lion in Mayfair, central London, the Harrow Inn, Petersfield, and Steventon’s North Star Inn.

Paul Ainsworth, chairman of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said: ‘Times are tough for all pubs at the moment, including those with important historic interiors.

‘The more protection they can receive, the better.’

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, added: ‘At a time when many historic pubs in England are susceptible to change or at risk of closure, we are pleased to celebrate pubs that have kept their remarkable interiors.

‘These rare interiors help tell the fascinating story of pubs over the centuries and how they reflected society.

‘From celebrity haunt Whitelock’s Ale House to the Prince Alfred in London with its “snob screens”, they all fully deserve the protection given by listing.’

The announcement comes just weeks after CAMRA published its pub closure statistics for 2021.

According to the figures, 290 pubs were demolished or converted to another use across Britain – an average of just over five a week.  

The 11 historic pubs given extra protection

Listed status upgraded to Grade-II*

Whitelock’s Ale House in Leeds

Prince Alfred in Maida Vale, London 

Granted Grade-II listed status for the first time

The Admiral Vernon, Dagenham, east London

The Blythe Hill Tavern, Forest Hill, south-east London

New information added to their list descriptions to highlight their historic interiors

The Red Lion, Westminster, London 

The King’s Head (Low House), Laxfield, Suffolk

The Harrow Inn, Petersfield, Hampshire

The North Star Inn, Steventon, Oxfordshire

The Victoria, Great Harwood, Blackburn

The Black Horse, Preston, Lancashire

Bridge Inn, Topsham, Exeter 

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