Exterior of 1930s pub now named 'the sportsman beerhouse'.
The Sportsman, Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield © Historic England
The Sportsman, Fitzwilliam Street, Huddersfield © Historic England

Huddersfield Pub 'The Sportsman' Listed at Grade II

A Huddersfield town centre pub has been listed at Grade II by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on the advice of Historic England.

Built in 1930, The Sportsman on Fitzwilliam Street is a rare example of a well-preserved “improved” pub. These establishments were created in response to government concerns about public drunkenness. Typically, these public houses had several rooms offering food and leisure activities as a way of reducing the emphasis on alcohol consumption.

Improved pubs started appearing at the end of the 19th century but most of them - like The Sportsman – were built in-between the First and Second World Wars. Brewers like Seth Senior and Sons, who built The Sportsman, were keen to improve the image of the public house and attract a more respectable clientele.

On the outside, The Sportsman retains much of its historic signage including the stone panel sign and a Bass beer barrel hanging over a door. Inside, the pub boasts many of its original interior fixtures and fittings such as the fixed benched seating, Art Deco flooring, and hand-painted tiles in the toilets depicting sporting scenes.

In addition to its original features, The Sportsman is also notable for its rare and carefully integrated 1950s features, such as its distinctive curved bar.

I’m thrilled that Sportsman has been listed. It’s one of my favourite pubs in Huddersfield; the historic features give it great character and it also does a wonderful pint. In recent years many of our historic pubs have closed down so celebrating and cherishing these places is increasingly important.

Charles Smith, Historic England’s Deputy Regional Director
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