An C18 dwelling in use as a pub from the C19, and with attached barns. Interiors of note include C19 signage, seating and other fittings, and the absence of a bar counter.
Reasons for Designation
Tucker’s Grave Inn, an C18 building with C19 pub fittings and attached barns, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a well-preserved C18 building with attached barns;
* the building retains its traditional layout, divided into several separate drinking spaces, including a parlour brought into the pub in the 1980s and, most notably, has no bar counter, a distinction it shares with only a very few pubs nationally;
* the interior retains C19 pub fittings including panelling, cupboards and other joinery with fitments, signage and a bell push fixed to a bench seat in the Tap Room.
* built using the vernacular traditions of the region with features such as a full-height stair turret and a stone well to the rear garden.
* as a modest country pub that has retained its simplicity and key features along with attached stone barns to stand as an unusually complete historic rural inn complex that demonstrates a very honest example of social drinking traditions.
Tucker’s Grave Inn is a former cottage of early-mid-C18 date. It is named after its proximity to the apparent burial site of Edward Tucker, a local farm worker, who is reputed to have taken his life in 1747 by hanging himself in a barn a few miles away. He was buried at the nearby crossroads, according to the traditions of the time, whereby burials of suicide victims could not take place on consecrated ground. The building was licensed as a public house by the early C19. It is marked on the 1840s tithe map for the area as ‘Tucker’s Grave’ where the building is shown on an L-plan. By the time of the Ordnance Survey Map of 1885 it had been extended to the east and north-west with barn-like buildings.
The buildings have been reordered and adapted in the C20 and a toilet block was built against the east end of the building in the mid-C20. In the 1980s the parlour was incorporated within the pub. Further alterations have been made to the pub and attached buildings in the C21. It remains one of only eight pubs in the UK known to have no bar counter at all, the casks of beer and cider being stacked below the window of the central public bar. The 'Tap Room' across the corridor from the public bar was traditionally a male-only area of an inn, to which refills were brought to customers by staff on request, as brought to life by Charles Dickens at the Six Jolly Fellowship Porters in Our Mutual Friend (1864-5). At Tucker’s Grave service was probably summoned by the pressing of a bell push, still in place on the back of a bench seat. The name of the room is written in C19 lettering on a door plate, but its derivation is unclear given that most of the known surviving historic Tap Rooms do not contain a clear means to serve beer or other liquid refreshment within.
An inn, formerly a cottage, of early-mid-C18 date with attached C19 barns, and C20 additions.
MATERIALS: constructed of coursed rubble, with double Roman tile roofs, coped verges and roughcast end stacks to the inn. The C20 outshut to the east end is rendered.
PLAN: a three-room pub with no bar counter and converted barns attached at the side and rear. The pub and side barn are of two storeys and the rear barns single storey.
EXTERIOR: the three-bay road front has bead-moulded two and three-light stone-mullioned windows with casements, some with glazing bars. There are continuous weathered strings over the window heads and a C20 canted bay to the left of the door, which is off-centre to the right. The door has a bead-moulded stone surround, plank door and a stone slab hood on brackets. To the right is a former barn with a pantile roof and a ventilator opening under the eaves. Against the east end of the barn is a rendered mid-C20 outshut (not of special interest). The rear elevation of the pub and barn is rubblestone with casement openings and a C20 attic dormer to the left. To the pub is a stair turret under a pyramidal pantile roof. The doorway to the left has a plank door and timber case. The return kitchen range to the right has a catslide roof with coped verges. Attached to the north end is a C19 rubblestone barn range with a monopitch roof facing the side lane. Against the north-east wall is a C20 outshut addition. The south-west elevation of the C19 additions faces the lane: the lower-height range to the left has no openings; the barn range to the right has three inserted casements under concrete cills. The west flank of the pub has a coped gable with a rendered end stack and a casement with stone architrave on the right side of the gable. At ground-floor level there is a stone storage building under a pantile roof with a timber door to the left. To the right is a small concrete enclosure to the roadside corner of the pub (not of special interest).
INTERIOR: the principal entrance to the pub is through the rear door, which has a braced plank door with iron fittings. The passageway leads around the internal wall of the stair turret with panelling to the corridor and doors with iron hinges. There is a plank door to the road at the south end. The rooms leading off the corridor are the Tap Room to the east and the public bar to the centre, with the former parlour bar to the west, accessed through the central bar area. The plank door to the Tap Room has an inscribed name plate of probable early-C19 date. The Tap Room has a central fireplace with ashlar jambs, lintel and a stone hearth. The stove and mantelpiece are of late-C20 date. To the right is a fitted cupboard with C18/C19 hinges. The window in the south wall has panelled shutters and a window seat with moulded skirting boards. A fitted bench seat set against the wall opposite the fireplace has a service bell fixed to the uppermost horizontal back board. To the right the wall deviates with the angle of the corridor and has wide plank panelling with mouldings. To the right is a tall sealed window opening with ledge, which may be a former off-sales counter or access point for casks.
The upper section of the panelling to the central bar corridor wall appears to have been formerly glazed. The door to the central bar has upper glazing with a ledge below. The central bar has a pine settle to each wall, either side of a C19 moulded cast-iron fireplace with glazed tiles and a marbled stone chimneypiece. To the south wall under the window is a rack holding beer casks. The window ledge is also used to perch beer and cider containers. To each side of the window and above it is shelving for glasses.
The former parlour bar has a window seat and an exposed stone west wall with a C19 fireplace, slightly larger than and of similar fabric and decoration to, that in the central bar. Steps from the parlour lead to the rear kitchen and service areas beyond.
The pub rooms each have an C18 oak ceiling beam with slender chamfers and pine floorboards. The staircase to the rear turret is of C21 date. The upper floors were not inspected. The building to the rear has a C20 skittle alley and the former barn to the east has a cast-iron stove to the ground floor.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: close to the rear door of the pub is a well with circular rubblestone walling approximately nine courses in height and with slender coping stones.