REAL ale fans and beer connoisseurs in South Birmingham and beyond raised a glass in celebration after the historic Black Horse pub was listed by English Heritage.
The decision was taken to list 21 pubs in the country built between the two World Wars, but the Northfield hostelry, on Bristol Road South, was the only one to be given Grade II listed status.
The popular pub was commended for its architectural quality with the report stating that the building was ‘widely considered to be one of the finest examples of public house architecture of the inter-war period as it combined careful planning, authentic construction, imaginative design and inspired craftmanship’.
It added that, although there had been some alterations, for example to accommodate air conditioning, it had been done sympathetically.
And it said the bar and assembly rooms retained their power as architectural spaces and had much of their original detail.
The Black Horse was designed by noted architect Francis Goldsborough of Bateman & Bateman to become the flagship pub of the Davenport’s Brewery.
The inter-war improvements were aimed at cutting back on the drunkeness associated with the conventional Victorian and Edwardian pubs as licensing magistrates and landlords strived to improve the buildings and the pubs’ reputations.
Eddie Gershon, spokesperson for JD Wetherspoon, which spent millions revamping the venue to its former glory, said: “The Black Horse is a wonderful pub with a rich history.
“The fact that it has been listed by English Heritage proves this to be the case and we are delighted that the pub has been recognised in this manner.”
There was another boost for the pub this week – the Birmingham branch of CAMRA (the Campaign for Real Ale) held its latest meeting at the venue on Thursday.
Birmingham CAMRA branch chairman Phil Barker welcomed the news of the pub earning Grade II listed status.
“The Black Horse is a fine building, and JD Wetherspoon has maintained its historic nature.
“It’s well laid out on both floors, with good sized meeting rooms upstairs.
“It also offers a very good range of real ales!”