The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has listed five ‘themed’ post-war drinking holes to celebrate a golden age of pub design
They include a Roman-themed pub in Bath, a Scunthorpe pub named after a furnace and a pub built as a memorial to a lifeboat disaster.
The department’s decision follows research by Historic England into the post-war period of pub design. This identified a boom in pub construction between the lifting of post-war building restrictions in 1954 and the 1980s.
Historic England chief executive Duncan Wilson said: ‘Pubs were springing up in their thousands from the mid-1950s and became the hub of communities.
‘From the Crumpled Horn to the Never Turn Back, these five fascinating post-war pubs are among the best surviving examples of a building type which is embedded in English culture.’
Historic England said that from the 1960s, with increased competition from clubs, bars and discos, themed pubs became increasingly popular.
The listed pubs
The Centurion, Twerton, Bath, Somerset by HR Robinson (1965)
Part of the Twerton estate, the Centurion public house was built in 1965 by H R Robinson of West Country Breweries on an exposed sloping site with extensive views towards Lansdown.
The pub features a large bronze sculpture of a Roman Centurion at first-floor level and a statue of Julius Caesar in the lobby of the former buttery bar, where food was served. A portion of Roman mosaic floor, which is now framed, hangs on the wall in the pub’s entrance hall.
The Centurion Public House, Poolemead Road, Twerton, Bath, Somerset.Detail of bar, view from west. The Centurion has been newly listed at Grade II
The Crumpled Horn, Eldene, Swindon, Wiltshire by Roy Wilson-Smith (1975)
The Crumpled Horn is an estate pub commissioned by the brewery Watney Mann as a Wessex Taverns house and designed by themed-pub specialist Roy Wilson-Smith. It opened in December 1975 and is the only survivor of a group of Watney Mann pubs designed around the theme of the nursery rhyme This is the House that Jack Built. The pub was built as an irregular eight-sided polygon on a sloping site, and contains a single bar area taking the unusual plan form of a spiralling ‘nautilus shell’.
Exterior of The Crumpled Horn Public House, Eldene Drive, Eldene Centre, Dorcan, Swindon, Wiltshire designed by Roy Wilson-Smith. The Crumpled Horn has been newly listed at Grade II.
Never Turn Back, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, by AW Ecclestone (1957)
The Never Turn Back public house opened in 1957 as a memorial to the Caister Lifeboat disaster of 1901. It was designed by the architect AW Ecclestone, who designed a number of pubs in Norfolk and Suffolk and was chief surveyor of the East Anglian brewery Lacon’s.
The pub is decorated with naturally sourced local materials such as flint and cobbles.
The exterior of Never Turn Back, Manor Road, Caister-on-Sea, Great Yarmouth by A W Ecclestone (1957). Never Turn Back pub has been newly listed at Grade II
Source: Historic England
The Queen Bess, Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire by Wilburn and Son Architects of Doncaster (1959)
The Queen Besse was named after the huge blast furnace at the nearby Appleby-Frodingham steelworks. Historic England calls it the best-preserved surviving examples of a pub built by a major brewery in the decades after the Second World War. The building has a modest exterior of brick, with a plain tile roof covering, designed to be compatible with new housing developments nearby.
Inside the Queen Bess, Derwent Road, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire which has been newly listed at Grade II
The Wheatsheaf, Camberley, Surrey, by John and Sylvia Reid (1971)
The Wheatsheaf was built in 1970-71 to the designs of renowned pub architects John and Sylvia Reid. It was planned as part of a commercial precinct to serve a new residential estate, Heatherside, much of which was developed by Bovis Homes Southern. The experimental design features a decagonal ratchet-wheel layout, around a central chimney column, and a stepped roof profile which created spaces filled with glazed panels, forming a series of windows at high level.
The Wheatsheaf, Heather Ridge Arcade, Camberley, Surrey. General view of interior with central stack and chimneypiece. The Wheatsheaf has been listed at Grade II.