Public house, formerly hotel, 1899, by Wood and Kendrick for Mitchells and Butlers.
Reasons for Designation
The Horse and Jockey, Wednesbury, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* an architecturally-accomplished suburban public house-hotel, with well-composed and distinctive street frontages exploiting the corner plot, including good-quality materials and detailing;
* the main bar room has a ceramic-fronted counter, probably by Craven Dunnill, which is of exceptional quality and is rare, as one of a small number nationally;
* the main bar has a richly-moulded bar back, and, along with the north lobby and hall retains other original fixtures and fittings, and the plan form is legible in the surviving fabric.
* built to the designs of Wood and Kendrick, a notable regional architectural firm that was closely associated with the Mitchells and Butlers brewery, and representative of their approach in a suburban setting.
The Horse and Jockey is a former hotel, now public house, dating from 1899 built to the designs of Wood and Kendrick of West Bromwich.
The building is the second iteration of a hotel on the site, having been rebuilt to provide improved facilities, as was common in the late C19. The new building took advantage of the corner plot, facing north-east onto Hobs Road and south-east onto the old Walsall Road – also a former tram route – with an octagonal corner tower marking the junction. The small building to the west is coeval, and is likely to have provided stabling and a wagon house.
The road-facing elevations survive in roughly their original form, and though there have been minor changes – such as the loss of the roof to the tower, and the insertion of a window into a former doorway – the general composition remains legible. The rear elevations are more heavily altered, with a two-storey stair tower, and single-storey extensions. Internally, the main bar originally had a timber screen dividing it in two; it has been opened up, and a doorway inserted at the east end, slightly truncating the elaborate ceramic bar counter. The counter is likely to have been manufactured by Craven Dunnill of Jackfield, and is one of only 12 known examples surviving in England.
The architects, Wood and Kendrick, began designing pubs in the late C19, initially for the Mitchells and Butlers brewery. Their output was prolific, with a good number of pubs surviving across the Black Country. Several are listed, including one at Grade II*.
Public house, formerly hotel, 1899, by Wood and Kendrick for Mitchells and Butlers.
MATERIALS: red brick laid in Flemish bond, with stone dressings – now painted, tiled roofs and brick chimneystacks.
PLAN: the building stands on a corner plot at the junction of Wood Green Road and Hobs Road. It has an irregular plan form: roughly L-shaped, with extensions to the south and west. There is a small ancillary block – a stable and wagon house – to the north.
EXTERIOR: the building is two storeys with an attic, dropping to two storeys on the northern wing; there are one and two-storey extensions on the west elevations. Built in a Domestic Revival style, it is uniformly articulated vertically and laterally by regular window bays and string courses, with projecting bays and gables creating a varied and lively composition. The road-side principal elevations face to the north- and south-east, and meet at the junction with an octagonal tower. Central to the south-east façade are two recessed bays beneath a half-timbered gabled dormer. On the ground floor is a blocked doorway, converted to window; it stands within a moulded architrave with long consoles holding a shaped pediment with disc, scroll and foliate motifs. There is a tripartite window to the left, with pilaster-like mullions, and a semi-circular moulding above. Ground-floor windows are casements with leaded over-lights. Left again is a double-height projection with a doorway containing a double door with fielded panelling. Openings, across the entire main range, are linked by a moulded sill band and a wide stone impost band with a cornice. On the first floor window openings have segmental arched heads of gauged brick, and windows are sashes with a single light to the lower section with multiple panes above. There is a dressed sill band and a moulded brick impost band. The projecting entrance bay has corbelled angle rounds with acorn finials, and there is a shaped parapet. The elevation has been extended to the left. The octagonal corner tower is three storeys, and has a window opening to each face on the ground and first floors in the style of the main elevations. The third floor has Renaissance-arched openings with dressed stone detailing, with recessed panels of moulded brick below, and plain parapet above. The roof is no longer visible, but is presumed to have originally been pyramidal. On the north-east elevation detailing is consistent, and there is a central entrance projection. On the right there is a lower, gabled section with three windows on the ground floor and a tripartite window above, the gable has applied half-timbering. The roofs of the main range are intersecting pitched ranges with cresting tiles, and stacks with moulded brick detailing rise from each ridge.
The building line continues as a wall to the right of the elevation; there is a semi-circular arched pedestrian doorway into a courtyard, then a gateway, with deep square gate piers with pyramidal caps. There is a recessed brick panel on the wall between the openings; it is filled with mosaic tiles which have been painted over.
The rear of the building has been extended, obscuring the original structure, particularly at ground floor level. The general form of the building remains apparent above, where the two parallel gabled main ranges meet the lower opposing rear range. At the westernmost angle of the original building there is a canted window bay; this has dressed stone sills and chamfered lintels, with fixed-light timber casements with tilting over-lights of textured glass. There is a pair of sashes above, detailed similarly as on the principal elevations. One first-floor window has Art Nouveau-style leaded glazing. The south-west angle of the roof has a wide dormer with a lead-clad roof with a central barrel vault.
INTERIOR: the pub has two bar rooms, the principal of which occupies the south-eastern range of the building. The bar is a highly elaborate feature: the counter, which bows outwards towards the top, is clad in rows of ceramic tiles, with a relief-moulded Art Nouveau-style course at the top, an ochre scoop-patterned course below, and pink tiles forming a panelled plinth. Russet-coloured roll-moulded tiles frame the horizontal courses, and pilasters with gargoyles, foliage and bows provide vertical articulation. The south end has been truncated. The bar back is a six-bay timber arcade with an off-centre clock; the recessed shelving units have moulded uprights with free classical detailing, and are lined with mirrors, some with etched palmettes, and those in the arches are inscribed with the names of products. Above, the timber is panelled and has various scroll and foliate moulding, and has crestings along the top. At the curved east end of the bar is a hatch into the former off-sales lobby; it has a sash window with etched glass. There is a picture rail and moulded cornice, and the remains of two timber screen partitions with leaded glazing in their upper halves; these may have related to an earlier partition forming two bar rooms.
The north-east lobby originally provided entrance into the main bar, the off-sales lobby and the stair hall. Joinery survives in the lobby, and there is an etched glass over-light; and a moulded cornice. The hall beyond has an encaustic tiled floor, and the stair has wide turned spindles.
SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: the small building detached to the north is likely to have been a stable and wagon house. A brick wall links it to the main building and forms a courtyard between the two, with separate pedestrian and vehicle gateways. The north-east gable end is blind on the ground floor and has an inserted opening above. The opposing gable stands on an oblique angle, in line with the original south-west elevation of the pub; the land rises on this side, and there is a carriageway entrance at first-floor level. The north-west elevation is blind, and the south-west, within the courtyard, has various inserted openings. The roof is pitched and has cresting tiles along the ridge.