Wolverhampton's Listed and Locally Listed Buildings

The Vine

35 Lichfield Road, Wednesfield


Listing:  Public House.  1938.  Mostly laid to Flemish bond with tile banding; parapetted tile roof with tall end stacks. Locally Listed, approved November 2001.

Comment:  The spot listing of this pub in 2002 is apparently due to CAMRA, who carried out excellent research on the history and architecture of local pubs - which also resulted in the building's being locally listed.  

The photos and captions above and below were provided by Duncan Nimmo with Frank Sharman.  We are grateful to the owner and his family for permission to enter and to take and use these photos.

Left:  front entrance door open with inner door showing typical period features.

Above the outer door a stained glass panel carries the pub name and vine leaves and grapes which are a theme of the windows throughout.

Right: the domestic wing stretches far back.

The local listing adds the information that the pub was built to replace another on the same site; and that the pub has been operated by the same family for 40 years.  The late arrival of this building on the street scene doubtless explains why it lays well back from the building line of the street.  The continuity of ownership helps to explain why the interior is so well preserved as to be the pub's chief feature.  But the exterior is also a good quality example of a style of the period.

Left: a classic inter-war steel framed "french door". A patent number on this door identifies it as being made by Henry Hope & Son of Smethwick.

Their chief designer from the 1920s to 50s was Frank Birch of Wolverhampton, the architect of Fallings Park Methodist Church, T.A.Henn's shop in Princess Street and various local houses.

Right: the vine theme continued in other windows.

The public bar, showing the original settles round the wall, the original tiles fireplace and the terrazzo floor.
The DCMS, in its listing, almost waxes lyrical about the Vine but they make it clear that it is the originality and completeness of the interior which chiefly contributes to its being listing.

"This pub stands out as an exceptional (possibly unique) complete example of a small pub interior of the inter-war period.  It was built in 1938, the choice of style displaying a fusion of both English Domestic and North European (particularly Dutch) architecture.  The interior rooms, which are also embellished with stained glass panels to the windows, have remained in an unaltered state with settles, door furniture and other fittings which display differing degrees of elaboration between the Smoke Room and Public Bar". 

Left:  serving hatch in a door in the public bar.  Note the solid  hinges to the door.

Right: another interior door.  They are in the same style and the style is typical of the period.

The smoke room.  The main way in which this bar is distinguished from the public bar is that it has a parquet floor rather than terrazzo.   Both bars have stained glass windows, identical but for the wording.

It seems that all the period details have been preserved throughout the building. 

On the left is an interesting staircase.

On the right a brass door handle, finger plate and keyhole escutcheon

Original fireplaces are in place throughout. 

On the left is a stone fire place in the domestic quarters.

On the right a tiled fireplace in a bar.

The DCMS point out that CAMRA's inventory of pub interiors establishes the national importance of this example; and that it is "not strictly comparable to more high status pubs of the period, of which 12 are listed including the Fox at Bix, Oxfordshire (the most complete roadhouse of the period), the Bath Hotel in Sheffield, the Margaret Catchpole in Ipswich (II*) or the Test Match in West Bridgford (II*)."

This decorative glazed roundel appears above the main door.