Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

The Rock Tavern

Old Hill

Listing:  Large, rambling, Edwardian public house, basically two storey, with roof rising to a tower feature facing south-east.  The tower is balustraded and has a flag pole.  The tower acts as a local landmark and is conspicuous from a distance.  Siting is on the precipice of an almost vertical section of the escarpment.

Comment:  This building was originally built as an hotel and is usually known as the Rock Hotel.  For decades it has passed through many revamps to the interior which have directed it towards different clienteles.  I think it is now mainly intended to be a family, eating house, sort of place.

 In any case, this building is, despite the photo above, worth locally listing if for no more than the tower (on the other face of the building) which looks out over the Smestow Valley to Finchfield.  One day I might be able to get a photo of it from that side; but its tricky.  It is also worth listing for its history.  Presumably it offered some sort of accommodation when it was opened but it seems to have been intended more as a social centre and pub.  Below are photos from a series of old photos, probably dating to the first quarter of the 20th century, which show how it was intended to be used.

In this view of the exterior you can make out the tower between the chimney stacks.
The entrance hall.  The general; design of the place and the standard of furniture in it speaks of a pub rather than of an hotel with any great aspirations.

The Billiard Room - again not a top class establishment.  (Note that the card is titled "Billiard Room" - at the time the educated classes would have objected that there is no such word as "billiard" and that it should be "Billiards Room").
The Assembly Room.  Probably good enough for many local groups but not for the more aspiring, such as the Freemasons.

Side path in the grounds.  The grounds were not that extensive but the hotel saw fit to provide walks and was, in this an other respects, rather like the better known Molineux Hotel in Wolverhampton itself.
"A Spring Morning".  One would guess that this area of the grounds is, in fact, right outside the main building.

"Bowling".  There is a mixture of bowlers and flat caps here.  The rough look of the grass may be an effect of the print - or not.
The fact that there are several cards showing the bowling green, and that there was what seems to be a bowls pavilion, rather suggests that bowls players were intended to from a large proportion of the patronage.

"A close end".  Note the hotel and its tower in the right hand background.  The bowling green itself must have been right on the edge of the escarpment. It looks rather more like a flat green than a crown green but these days Wolverhampton itself is almost exclusively crown green.  Was Tettenhall different?