In Brief

Former Beatles boozer joins list of Britain’s protected pubs

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool was a favoured watering hole of the Fab Four

The former go-to boozer of The Beatles has become the first purpose-built Victorian pub in England to be awarded Grade I heritage listing.

The Philharmonic Dining Rooms, in Liverpool city centre, joins landmarks including Buckingham Palace, Chatsworth House and the Palace of Westminster in gaining England’s top heritage status.

ITV News reports that the Liverpool pub, known locally as “The Phil”, is considered a “cathedral among pubs” thanks to its spectacular architecture and highly ornate “gin palace” interior.

The building features “elaborate carvings, mahogany fireplaces, mosaic-clad bar counters and art nouvea elements, including metal gates by designer Henry Bloomfield Bare”, says The Guardian.

Praise has also been heaped on the “Instagram-friendly gents with imitation marble urinals”, the newspaper adds.

Designed by Walter W. Thomas, the architecture is a medley of Scots baronial, Jacobean and art nouveau styles, with Gothic and classical references, according to The Times.

The eye-catching pub is so loved by locals that when former Beatle John Lennon was asked the price of fame, he famously replied: “No longer being able to have a pint in the Phil.”

The Phil was given a Grade II status in 1966, but was one of 11 historic pubs to have their heritage status reassessed this week.

“We are proud that the Liverpool Philharmonic pub, a remarkable survival from the Victorian era, has been given a Grade I listing, which will help maintain and preserve its outstanding interior fittings and exterior fabric for the future,” said Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England. 

Heritage Minister Helen Whately added: “For centuries, the local pub has been a place for people to come together. The 11 protected today are each original and important in their own way, and their updated listings will help to protect their cultural and historical heritage for years to come.”

Where are Britain’s other protected pubs?

There are now 13 Grade I listed pubs in Britain. These include The George Inn in London, which was rebuilt in 1677 after a fire destroyed most of Southwark and was frequented by Charles Dickens.

Also on the illustrious list is London’s Dick Whittington Tavern, which may have been built for the famous lord mayor, while The Old Post Office pub in Bristol is, as the name suggests, housed in what was the city’s central post office for more than 200 years.

According to industry news site The Drinks Business, The Old Ferryboat Inn in St Ives is alleged to be Britain’s oldest watering hole. 

Although the pub is not listed, the owners “claim that alcohol has been sold on the premises as early as 560AD, but a more reliable estimate is a foundation date on the site which places it at 1400AD”, the site reports.

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