The Station public house, formerly The Stoneleigh Hotel
Heritage Category: Listed Building
List Entry Number: 1427779
Date first listed: 24-Aug-2015
Statutory Address: The Station, Stoneleigh Broadway, Stoneleigh, Epsom, KT17 2JA
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Statutory Address: The Station, Stoneleigh Broadway, Stoneleigh, Epsom, KT17 2JA
The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Epsom and Ewell (District Authority)
Parish: Non Civil Parish
National Grid Reference: TQ2208464113
'Improved' public house, built as The Stoneleigh Hotel in 1934-5, by the brewery Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. Ltd to the designs of A E Sewell. The building includes surviving elements of its original hard landscaping within the garden and grounds; however it has not been possible to capture all of these features on the accompanying map.
Pursuant to s.1 (5A) of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (‘the Act’) it is declared that the late C20 interior fittings in the ground floor of the building, and the single garage to the south of the site, are not of special architectural or historic interest.
Reasons for Designation
The Station public house, Stoneleigh Broadway, Stoneleigh, built 1934-5, to the designs of A E Sewell as an ‘improved’ public house for the brewery Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. Ltd, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: as a particularly good example of the ‘Brewers’ Tudor’ style, richly decorative and very well-executed using high quality materials and traditional craft skills; * Social hall: the scale and quality of the first-floor social hall and its associated suite of rooms is particularly grand, and a rare survival of its type; * Level of survival: despite the loss of much of the building's ground floor interior, the level and quality of survival of its exterior and social hall suite is very high; * Planning interest: the building’s corner setting, with social hall, car parks and garden, is illustrative of the scale and ambition of such large suburban inter-war public houses; * Architect and client: the building was designed as a showcase pub for Truman’s, one of the breweries most prolific in their inter-war pub building, by their in-house architect A E Sewell, a pub designer of note.
Inter-war ‘improved’ or ‘reformed’ pubs stemmed from a desire to cut back on the amount of drunkenness associated with conventional Victorian and Edwardian public houses. Licensing magistrates and breweries combined to improve the facilities and reputation of the building type. Improved pubs were generally more spacious than their predecessors, often with restaurant facilities, function rooms and gardens, and consciously appealed to families and to a mix of incomes and classes. Central, island serveries with counters opening onto several bar areas allowed the monitoring of customers and also the efficient distribution of staff to whichever area needed service. Many, although not all, of the new pubs were built as an accompaniment to new suburban development around cities, and a policy of ‘fewer and better’ was followed by magistrates both in town and on the outskirts. A licence might be granted for a new establishment on surrender of one or more licences for smaller urban premises. Approximately 1,000 new pubs were built in the 1920s – the vast majority of them on ‘improved’ lines - and almost 2,000 in the period 1935-39. Neo-Tudor and Neo-Georgian were the favoured styles, although others began to appear at the end of the period.
The suburb of Stoneleigh, eleven miles from the centre of London, developed rapidly during the 1930s. The railway station opened in 1932 and the area’s housing and commercial premises followed shortly afterwards. In 1934, Truman’s – an East London-based brewery founded c1666 – applied for a licence to build a pub to serve the 2,080 homes that had been built within half a mile of the station. The application was approved by the local licensing justices in 1934, with plans signed off later that year. Occupying a prominent corner plot situated next to the station, the new pub was opened on 4 November 1935. The building tender had come to a total of £25,233, over treble the national average construction cost for inter-war public houses. It was one of the largest and most expensive pubs built by Truman’s in the period 1918-39. It is known that over 20 separate specialist firms were involved in the building’s construction, signifying the prominence, cost, scale and ambition of the project. Although originally named a ‘hotel’, the building never included guest accommodation; it is an example of the term being used to give status and respectability to a public house, and to broaden the class of its clientele. The Stoneleigh Hotel remained the only licensed premises in Stoneleigh until The Gamecock was built in 1955 on the western side of the railway.
The original plans, produced and signed by the architect A E Sewell, survive, dated January 1934. They show the variety of different rooms designed to cater for the reasonably affluent customers drawn from the newly laid-out suburban estate. On the ground floor there were originally three main bars, arranged around a central servery: the self-contained public bar (named the ‘public saloon’ on Sewell’s plans), entered from Kenilworth Road; the saloon, at the corner of the building; and next to this the saloon lounge, both the latter entered via the doorway in the main (north) front, facing the Broadway. To the rear of the saloon lounge was a billiards room, and to the west of it, also facing onto the Broadway with its own street entrance, an ‘outdoor department, or off sales shop, selling alcohol to drink at home. On the first floor there was a large social hall accessed through its own entrance to the rear of the building. The hall had an adjoining smoking room, ground and first floor reception halls, and male and female cloakrooms. The building had a kitchen on the first floor above the public saloon, and the remainder of the first floor and attic was taken up with staff accommodation.
Following the building’s completion, it attracted attention at a national level, being featured in a six-page account in The Builder in April 1936. The exterior of the pub was also featured in the Truman’s in-house magazine, The Black Eagle, in July 1936. Shortly after opening, the popularity of Stoneleigh’s new pub necessitated amendments to the original design, with the conversion of a ground-floor store room to a committee room in 1936, and in 1938 a small extension to the first-floor social hall and some additional gentlemen’s toilets to one side of the billiards room on the ground floor. By 1998 the pub was trading under the name the Stoneleigh Inn, and a new entrance had been added to the corner of the building at the junction of the Broadway and Kenilworth Road. The pub changed its name to ‘The Station’ in 2012, and at some point, or possibly over several phases of remodelling, the ground floor interior was opened up to form a series of interconnected spaces, and the servery counter was replaced with a modern linear bar.
The Station pub, formerly The Stoneleigh Hotel, 1934-5, by A E Sewell, is an ‘improved’ public house in a neo-Tudor (or ‘Brewer’s Tudor’) style, built for the brewery of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton & Co. Ltd.
MATERIALS: the building is constructed of narrow red bricks laid in English bond, with painted Hornton stone dressings. There are timber-framed elements, traditionally constructed in pegged English oak. Windows are steel-framed casement windows with lozenge-shaped leaded lights, set in stone or timber mullioned frames. The roof is covered in clay tiles.
PLAN: the building is detached, of two storeys with attic rooms and a cellar. It is very roughly square in plan and stands on a corner plot, the principal, north, elevation facing onto the Broadway, and the secondary, east, elevation, facing onto Kenilworth Road. To the south and west of the building are car parks, and in the south west corner is an enclosed garden. The downwards slope of the site towards the east means that this side of the pub is slightly elevated above street level; the entrances are therefore served by a raised path which runs round the north-east corner of the building, surrounded by a snecked rubble retaining wall.
The original public entrances to the building all remain, but the entrances in use are now that in the north front (the original entrance into the saloon lounge), and at the corner of the north and east elevations (a later pair of door-openings inserted into a range of windows). The entrance into the function hall is to the rear of the building.
Internally the ground floor has a series of interconnecting spaces wrapping around four sides of the central kitchen and staff stair. The first floor is occupied by the social hall complex to the west, a large kitchen to the south, and the remainder of the space (and the attic level) is given over to staff accommodation.
EXTERIOR: the design is in an elaborate Neo-Tudor style, with mullion and transom windows, half-timbered gables, first-floor timber framing, imposing brick chimneystacks, and small half-hipped dormer windows projecting from the steeply pitched tiled roof. The design also shows the influence of the Arts and Crafts style, notably seen in the varied, informal, roof lines and the integration of numerous hand-crafted details.
The main façade (to the north) is the most architecturally elaborate, presenting an irregular, mixed height, composition formed around a central jettied gable. The gable has carved bargeboards, and three panels of pargetted decoration featuring stylised vines and foliage. There is a first-floor shallow oriel window with a small stained glass heraldic crest in the centre. To the right of this window is the original bracket for the pub’s sign, though the sign itself has been removed. The jetty is supported at either side by two pairs of scrolled brackets with comedic gargoyle head stops, featuring carved grinning and laughing figures. Beneath the jetty is a bay window, and to the left of this is the pub’s main entrance, which originally led directly into the saloon lounge. The entrance has a Tudor arch, set beneath a series of decorative sculpted stone relief panels, featuring C16 style depictions of a wheat sheaf, a coat of arms, a Tudor rose and stylised foliage.
To the far right of the main façade is a smaller gabled section, which projects from the main line of the building. This originally served as a separate off sales shop, or off licence, a function which is reflected in its design, which recalls that of a shopfront. It is formed of a recessed doorway flanked by multi-paned showcase windows, with recently added chequer tile-work to the entranceway. The timber door and window frames along with the gable bargeboards all feature carved vine and foliage decoration. The gable above picks up on some of the patterns seen in the larger central gable – notably further pargetted vine and foliage decorative work between the timber studs.
The windows in the upper portion of the Broadway frontage all retain their original leaded glazing; the survival of original glazing on the ground floor is good, but slightly patchier, with several windows having had new glazing inserted.
The corner portion of the pub’s north elevation, facing the junction with Kenilworth Road, has a single-storey brick projection. Originally, its canted corner was filled with a continuous band of mullion and transom windows, but it now contains two doorways either side of a retained central window. The building’s east façade, facing Kenilworth Road, is the shortest of the building’s elevations, but the level of detail is on a par with the Broadway frontage. At the southern end is a gabled bay with jetties at both first- and second-floor levels, sharing many details with the gables on the pub’s north side – notably, vine motif pargetting, carved bargeboards, and two pairs of brackets with carved gargoyle head stops. There is an oriel window on ground and first floors, beneath each jetty. Just to the left of the first-floor windows is the original wrought iron sign bracket, now without its signboard.
The pub’s south and west elevations are less elaborate but nevertheless retain much of their original, if more modest, detailing, with the west elevation showing evidence of some of the minor alterations executed in 1938, and including a screen wall, which encloses a small yard in front of the building. To the south a tall gable-ended brick bay with a Tudor-arched opening marks the entrance to the social hall complex.
INTERIOR: the ground floor interior of the building has been substantially altered from its original form and layout. The public saloon, saloon, saloon lounge and billiard room now form a single space. However, a sense of where the former room divisions would have been located can be noted from the ceiling breaks, and the location of the off-sales area is still readable as a separate space. Part of the original plaster cornice of the former billiard room survives and some original panelling, which has been painted over, survives in the former public saloon.
The first-floor social hall, along with its attendant smoking room (now bar area), reception halls and staircase all survive largely intact. This section of the building was always intended to be completely separate from the main bar rooms, and is entered to the south of the building from the car park, implying that Truman’s anticipated an affluent class of custom, likely to arrive by car, to attend such events.
The ground-floor entrance hall is accessed via an open lobby with a pair of four-centred arched doorways. The hall forms an impressive double-height space with a substantial fireplace on its west side, with a Truman’s eagle emblem within a roundel set into the overmantel. Above this is a band of fielded panels with linenfold motifs. The fireplace is topped by a painted plaster relief medallion featuring a portcullis, framed by a stylised foliage border and depictions of the national flowers of England (a rose), Wales (daffodil) and Scotland (thistle). The room has picture-rail height panelling throughout and a set of double doors set into the west wall, giving access to the gardens. Above the panelling the walls are painted plaster but have an underlying treatment which gives them a hammered effect. A dogleg staircase with fielded panelling in the stair-well leads to the first-floor areas.
The first-floor reception hall continues the fielded, picture-rail height panelling of the entrance hall and the stairway; these spaces are lit by a series of leaded stained-glass windows featuring detailed, and apparently authentic, heraldic crests. The principal room on the first floor is the social hall, designed to accommodate 150 guests. It is a large rectangular space, open to the collar of the double arch-braced trusses; the braces springing from brackets are adorned with intricate gilded head stops, carved with humorous faces. The rafters are exposed and there is ogee bracing (imitating wind bracing). The painted plaster above the panelling and between the timbers of the roof has a hammered effect. At the north end is a large fireplace with a broad four-centred arch and carved spandrels. An oak surround and overmantel, with a band of geometric patterning above the arch, is set beneath a large plaster relief depiction of a pair of gilded lions flanking an oak tree. There is further decorative plaster-work at the south end of the room.
An adjoining servery and chair store (now a store) retains its panelling, original folding oak screen, and what appears to be an original 1930s oak-clad refrigerator.
On the west side of the hall is a rectangular recess with raised dais, lit by leaded windows with coloured glass; this is part of Sewell’s extension of 1938 and connects with the former smoking room, now bar, on the west side of the social hall. The bar has the original panelled bar counter, behind which is a bar back carved with foliage and bunches of grapes. This is set between oak shelving for glasses and a panelled back board, with an entrance to a ‘wash up’ compartment (still in its original use) off-set to the right. The room has some original fixed benching with decorative plasterwork above, and stained-glass windows in the west wall, inset with heraldic crests. The timber cornice seems to be original, though the canopy (or pot shelf) set above the bar counter is a later addition.
The large first floor kitchen has modern fittings; the dumb waiters, which connect with what is now the downstairs kitchen (formerly the ‘servery’), remain in their original position, although are modern replacements. The rest of the first floor and attic was not inspected.
ANCILLARY STRUCTURES: A E Sewell’s plans show the enclosed rear garden in some detail. It had a double flight of steps at its north end, a flight of stairs to the east, a square enclosure at its centre, and an octagonal pavilion at its south-east corner, reached by stairs. It also had low walls just inside part of its perimeter, and further to the south, possibly enclosing planting beds. The east stairs remain, as do the double stairs with integrated planting beds to the north, albeit with some replaced copings. Otherwise the garden appears modernised with close-board fencing. It is possible however that the modern fence sits inside some of the original hard landscaping, screening it from view. This could not be ascertained at the inspection.
The larger car park to the rear of the building retains a single garage to the far south of the plot; this simple brick-built structure with a parapeted roof and timber double doors is original to the site but is not of special interest.
Books and journals
Cole, Emily, The Urban and Suburban Public House in Inter-War England, 1918-1939’, Historic England Research Report Series, no. 4/2015, (2015), section 12.34
This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.
End of official listing