Fancy a bit of history while enjoying your pint? Look no further than this list of ‘historic pub interiors’ boozers published by CAMRA. Compiled with different ratings of importance, this interesting list will ensure you have more to chew on than your packet of pork scratchings.
In the Bristol region, 10 pubs are in the list, including two which are currently closed; The Palace in St Philips (also known as the Gin Palace) and The Ship Inn in Keynsham which shut earlier this year.
But despite the closures, eight remain open to visit, and most are within walking distance of each other to make an fascinating pub crawl. The pub interiors are graded into three categories, from ‘exceptional’ to ‘special’ for national historic importance.
They have been picked due to their layout, historic fittings and exceptional rooms and features. Look out for the Captain’s Cabin at the Nova Scotia and the tramcar at the Kings Head.
So have a scroll down through the pubs - and let us know what you think of each one, or if CAMRA is missing a particular pub. Email [email protected]
1. Palace Hotel, West Street, St Philips - ‘A pub interior of special national historic interest’
Built in 1869, the building’s life started as The Palace Hotel before it was turned into a ground floor pub, also known as Gin Palace, which closed in 2018. Inside, CAMRA states it features ‘impressive arcading with round arched, twisted, hollow brass columns’.
2. The Kings Head, Victoria Street - ‘A pub interior of exceptional national historic importance’
The cosy tramcar bar at the King’s Head, which dates back to the 17th Century, is just one impressive part of this narrow pub, which reopened last year. It also features a glazed panel advertising Burton Ales and Dublin Stout. The right-hand wall also has a mid-Victorian bar-back with a series of arches and a marble shelf.
3. Highbury Vaults, St Michael’s Hill - ‘A pub interior of outstanding national historic interest’
Steeped in history, The Highbury Vaults was said to be the place prisoners condemned to death had their final meal. CAMRA highlights the retained bar areas from the mid-19th Century pub as well as the ‘tiny snug’ with dado panelling and wall bench seating.
4. Avon Packet, Coronation Road - A pub interior of special national historic interest
Built in 1843, the Avon Packet on Coronation Road overlooks the River Avon and is so-called as it was apparently the name of a small mail boat that used to sail up and down the river from the Cumberland Basin to Temple Meads. It features green and maroon glazed ceramic tiles with a ‘fine Art Nouveau frieze’. It also retains a number of rooms and genuinely old fittings.