The Zetland, Middlesbrough

The Campaign for Real Ale has revealed the winners in its annual Pub Design Awards. There will be a virtual, online awards celebration on 7th May.

Before then, though, we can take a tour of some of the winners as CAMRA has put some photo collections online. These include shots of a canal-side newbuild reflecting the architectural heritage of industrial Swindon, a Lancashire pub that has reopened after 105 years, a bustling taphouse in Shropshire, and a 150-year-old pub that was saved by its local community. 

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s Pub Design Award judging panel, said: “In these uncertain and worrying times for pubs, we are delighted to be celebrating the stunning, eclectic range of architecture and design preserved in these institutions. 

“Some of these pubs have been used in that capacity for hundreds of years, demonstrating not only their tenacity and endurance, but also the necessity of the pub to the British way of life. We hope that all will be able to endure the current crisis, and that patrons will be able to celebrate their achievement in person once the restrictions have lifted. 

“We had a tough time narrowing it down to these six exemplary pubs — congratulations to them all!”

Winners will be recognised at an event hosted in CAMRA’s new virtual pub, the Red (On)Lion, by judges at 7pm on Thursday, 7th May. To join the event and congratulate the pub owners and designers, visit theredonlion.co.uk/bar/join/Pub-Design-Awards to book a place. 

Pub goers can digitally ‘visit’ the pubs by browsing the CAMRA library of the winners, available to view on Dropbox.

The winners

New-build award: The Hall and Woodhouse, Swindon
Built as part of the Wichelstowe housing expansion, it occupies a prominent canal-side site in the town centre and is an important asset for the emerging community.

Conversion award: Plau, Preston
Built in 1668 as a butcher’s shop, it was converted into a pub in 1795, however it closed in 1913. It finally re-opened as a pub after a gap of 105 years in 2018.

Historic England Conservation Award: The Zetland, Middlesbrough
Built in 1860, it was painstakingly restored in 2017, which included sourcing custom-made tiles from the very firm that created tiles for the pub over 120 years ago.

Refurbishment award (joint winner): The Farmers Arms, Woolfardisworthy, Devon
Having served as a public house for much of its 300-year life, new owners have restored it to its former glory, retaining its unique character.

Refurbishment award (joint winner): The Peterborough Arms, Dauntsey Lock, Wiltshire
Built as a farmhouse in the late 18th century. Having previously being declared an asset of community value and taken on by the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust, six volunteers began work on its restoration in 2015. It finally re-opened in late 2018, with volunteer hours in excess of 10,000! 

Joe Goodwin award for best street-corner local: The Shakespeare, Bridgnorth
A taphouse with beer truly at its heart, with preserved log burners and bespoke stained-glass windows adding to the pub’s character. 

Highly commended for conversion was the Old Mill Bar, in Leek, a former textile mill. The whole interior was stripped back to the original Victorian brickwork of the former mill. 

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