This browser is not fully supported by Historic England. Please update your browser to the latest version so that you get the best from our website.

The Urban and Suburban Public House, 1918-1939

19 pubs built in the inter-war period 1918 to 1939 have recently been listed. This work was part of our strategic project to promote the appreciation and protection of pubs.

Under threat

Around 3,000 pubs were built during the inter-war years. Very few survive today and a recent study found that inter-war pubs are under greater threat of disappearing than pubs of any other date.

One of the pubs earmarked for possible listing through this project is a case in point. The Carlton Tavern, Maida Vale, London, was recently demolished without warning.

To expand their appeal beyond their usual male clientele, breweries at this time began creating pubs with restaurants, gardens and community meeting spaces. These buildings are important social spaces which have stood at the hearts of communities for decades.

Listing offers them protection. It also acknowledges that they are an essential part of our common identity and help to tell our country’s story.

What inter-war pubs did we look at?

After extensive research we assessed a total of 28, resulting in the addition of 19 urban and suburban inter-war pubs to the National Heritage List for England (NHLE).

In addition to the 19 that have been listed, The Black Horse, Northfield, Birmingham has been upgraded from Grade II to Grade II*. This pub was originally listed at Grade II in 1981.  The new Grade II* listing more accurately reflects its now better understood architectural interest. The pub’s bowling pavilion, pergolas and walls have been listed under a separate listing at Grade II.

Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch said: "These inter-war pubs are more than a slice of living history, they play an intrinsic role in English culture and our local communities. I'm delighted that these pubs and their fascinating history have been protected for generations to enjoy for years to come."

The Grade II* listed Black Horse Public House, Birmingham
The Black Horse Public House, Northfield, Birmingham. Built in 1929-30 for the brewers John Davenport and Sons. Listed at Grade II*. NHLE List Entry Number: 1343340 © Historic England

What inter-war pubs are now listed?

Emily Gee, Head of Listing Advice at Historic England said: “This national project, the first of its kind, has surveyed the increasingly threatened and much loved inter-war public house, allowing us to identify, understand and protect the most special examples. And what better way to champion the best of our locals than by raising a pint glass to these architectural beacons of English community life now celebrated on the National Heritage List.”

The Grade II listed Gatehouse Public House, Norwich.
The Gatehouse Public House, Norwich. Built in 1934 by Morgans Brewery. Listed at Grade II. NHLE List Entry Number: 1427216 © Pat Payne, Historic England

What inter-war pubs were not listed?

  • The Coach and Horses Inn, Carlisle
  • The Carlton Tavern, Maida Vale, London
  • The Green Man, Kingsbury
  • The Farmers Arm’s, Liverpool
  • The Primrose Inn, Liscard, Wirral
  • The White Swan Hotel, Swinton, Salford
  • The Peartree, Welwyn Garden City
  • The Court Oak, Birmingham

Was this page helpful?

Related News

Also of interest...

  • A row of hand pumps on a pub bar at the Woodman pub Birmingham

    The English Pub

    Public houses are one of England’s best-known and best-loved building types, but are increasingly under threat.

  • Exterior of the Spirit Vaults public house (later renamed Carlistle Arms) with a delivery of barrels being unloaded from a horse-drawn wagon.

    State Control of Pubs

    At the height of the WWI, government nationalised public houses to reduce the impact of excessive drinking on productivity of munitions workers.