House, early C17, converted to a pub in the C19.
Reasons for Designation
The Red Lion is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a building originating in the C17 which retains substantial fabric from that first and subsequent phases, and which provides a legible illustration of its historic development;
* for its retention of an inter-war pub interior, including panelling and fireplaces, and with a plan form reflecting the distinct modes of use of the individual bar rooms.
* an early building within central Rugeley, and one of the last surviving C17 buildings on what was once a densely developed commercial street.
The Red Lion originated in the early C17. Originally a linear, timber-framed range, it is shown on the Tithe map of 1841 with an L-shaped footprint with outbuildings to the north-west; the accompanying apportionment describes it as a house, buildings, and garden. By the time of the survey for the 1884 Ordnance Survey map the building was in use as a pub, and had an extensive range of outbuildings to the west; these have been largely rebuilt. The pub now stands in relative isolation, but it was once part of a built-up streetscape.
Originating as a timber-framed building, parts of the exterior have been rebuilt. Refronting was frequently undertaken in a bid to smarten up timber-framed buildings, as happened at the Red Lion, where the principal elevation was replaced with brick, probably in the early C19. A fire in 1950 resulted in the rebuilding of the elevation.
The bar was refitted in the interwar period, though retains remnants of earlier decorative schemes, including a truncated section of scoop panelling thought to be original to the building. The back bar, with its turned shelving posts, appears to be earlier.
House, early C17, converted to a pub in the C19.
MATERIALS: timber framed with elevations partially rebuilt in brick and masonry. The rear ranges are brick. Roofs are tiled and have brick chimneystacks.
PLAN: the building stands on the west side of Market Street. The main range is rectangular, orientated roughly north-south, and has two ranges projecting from the rear, creating a U-shaped footprint.
EXTERIOR: the principal elevation of the main range, rebuilt in the 1950s, is one-and-a-half storeys and three bays. On the ground floor, each bay has a wide widow opening beneath a segmental arched head, containing a six-light casement. There is a doorway irregularly set between each bay; that on the right has a plain timber surround with a pediment head, with a pair of narrow three-panelled doors with a glazed upper light. On the left the architrave has shaped consoles supporting a shallow hood; the door is panelled with a top light. On the upper floor there are eaves courses of brick, and three pitched dormers with pairs of three-light casements, with herringbone brick above and lead cheeks.
The southern return elevation remains fully timber-framed. It has five bays of small box framing, with a central window, now infilled, and braces. The wall plate beneath the gable projects slightly and is supported on shaped corbels. The timber framing of the rear (west) wall of this range survives in part; it is of slightly different construction, two bays in height. The elevation is rebuilt in brick on the left, where it meets the northern rear range, and is obscured by C20 extensions on the right.
The northern return elevation is blind and largely constructed from stone, rendered at the base and with brick around the top of the gable, from which the ends of two ranks of purlins project. There is a staggered step in the brickwork just beyond the junction with the rear range (late C18-early C19). There are two segmental-arched window openings to the left-hand side of the ground floor, and a blocked doorway and window to the right. On the upper floor there are two openings beneath the eaves, interrupting a brick dentil course. The roof is pitched, and the gable end is blind, with a projecting brick chimneystack. On the south elevation of the northern range the wall has been buttressed, and has a number of blocked and inserted openings.
INTERIOR: the main range of the building has three rooms: the public bar, games room and snug. A small square lobby provides access into the bar and games room, and second lobby serves the snug. The main public bar is in the central room; the bar occupies much of the rear wall; it is panelled, with a later counter. The bar back has extensive shelving, which, above counter level, is supported on turned spindles. There are two deep, chamfered cross beams supporting a series of substantial joists with chamfers and stops. The position of the northern beam, and the truncated joists, suggests that the internal wall and fireplace are a later insertion. If this is the case, it clearly happened some centuries ago; there is a small cupboard to the one side purported to be a salt cellar, probably a Georgian intervention. The inglenook fireplace is lined in brick and has a moulded mantle shelf. The partition to the snug has fielded panelling above a bench seat, and elsewhere matchboarding lines the walls. The lobby compartment has etched glazed lights. There is a section of panelling with a scoop and line pattern, possibly original to the building.
The games room has a matchboarded dado and a quarry tiled floor. There are three wide ceiling beams, and the floor is tiled. The fireplace has a sheet-metal slip with the Banks’s lion logo in brass, with a simple mantle shelf. In the snug there is matchboarding to chair rail height, a quarry-tiled floor, and a bolection-moulded chimneypiece, also with a metal slip. On either side of the chimneybreast are alcoves with semi-circular arched heads. Doorways have moulded architraves, and doors are either half-glazed with nine lights, or of ledge-and-plank construction.
The rear range contains a single large room in use as a beer cellar, accessed by a corridor along one side.