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Marlborough Public House

A Grade II Listed Building in Sparkbrook, Birmingham

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Latitude: 52.4632 / 52°27'47"N

Longitude: -1.8634 / 1°51'48"W

OS Eastings: 409380

OS Northings: 285041

OS Grid: SP093850

Mapcode National: GBR 68G.HW

Mapcode Global: VH9Z3.NC80

Plus Code: 9C4WF47P+7M

Entry Name: Marlborough Public House

Listing Date: 3 December 2009

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1393553

English Heritage Legacy ID: 507391

ID on this website: 101393553

Location: Sparkbrook, Birmingham, West Midlands, B11

County: Birmingham

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Birmingham

Traditional County: Warwickshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): West Midlands

Church of England Parish: Sparkbrook Christ Church

Church of England Diocese: Birmingham

Tagged with: Pub

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This list entry was subject to a Minor Amendment on 16 April 2021 to reformat the text to current standards


Marlborough Public House


A public house dating from 1900. Designed by William Jenkins of James and Lister Lea for Mitchells and Butlers Brewery.

MATERIALS: the building is constructed using red brick and steel reinforcements with terracotta detailing under a grey slate roof. The clock tower has a lead roof.

PLAN: the main range stands on an irregular corner plot. A north-south corridor subdivides the main ground floor bar areas. The Public Bar and Lounge to the right of the corridor are separated by a large servery, with an off-sales area at the far end. The Lounge is triangular-shaped. The Smoke Room stands to the left of the corridor. The corridor turns left and terminates by doors to public conveniences and the accommodation wing. A main stair leads to the first floor. The first floor is separate into large Club Room and Dining Room with toilets, storage and a corridor behind. A back stair divides the main range from the single-depth rear accommodation wing.

EXTERIOR: the main range is of three storeys plus cellar. The Anderton Road elevation has five bays and two double-storey bow windows with a front door between them. The second floor windows above the bows have elliptical brick arches and stand beneath dentilled gable ends. The principal Montgomery Street elevation is four-bay with a narrower bay including a ground floor entrance. There is a cellar window in the left bay. The ground floor windows to road fronts are larger in proportion than those above. Windows on upper floors and to the rear are timber sashes and a number on each level have etched glass. Road elevations are decorated with terracotta, including pilasters, notably around the doorways and the corner elevation below the clock tower. The clock, dome and weather vane stand above roof height. The roof is augmented by heavy brick stacks. An additional red brick range, of plainer detailing and a variable three/two/single-storey height, is attached on Montgomery Street.

INTERIOR: the principal entrance (Anderton Road) leads to a lobby and corridor with dado tiling, floor tiles and windows with coloured glass. To the right, the large Public Bar has an original servery with carved mahogany bar back including mirrored panels and tiling, a bar counter with match strikers and modern bar top. Ground floor rooms have high corniced ceilings with visible steel reinforcement. There is hatchway service to the Lounge and the corridor. The service to the off-sales area to the north of the bar is sealed, but the unfurnished area is intact and some original screening with glazing is visible from the Public Bar. The Lounge has original fixed seating, ornate armrests and an original chimneypiece. The Smoke Room has some original fixed seating. Windows to the lobby have been inserted. The corridor dado is prominently tiled, and the patterned tiling continues up the stairs. Original heavy newels, handrails and turned balusters ascend the dog-leg stair to the second floor. A modern door has been inserted on the first floor landing. The first floor hallway and stair dado to a small second floor storage room is tiled to match the ground floor. The Club Room and Dining Room have their original proportions. There is a complete ceiling cornice in the Club Room and a partially complete cornice in the Dining Room. The back stairs are of 1900 and the rear accommodation wing has some etched glass windows but is generally is plainer and of lesser interest. There is access to the bell tower via a ladder and hatchway, with a hanging counterweight, in the east corner room of the second floor. Original etched windows include examples with 'CLUB ROOM' and 'DINING ROOM', floral designs and 'MITCHELLS & BUTLERS LIMITED' in a roundel around a central 'Crown' illustration.

HISTORY: the Marlborough was built in 1900 on a prominent corner site to the designs of William Jenkins of James & Lister Lea, the foremost designers of public houses in Birmingham in the late-C19 and early-C20. The pub was built for Mitchells and Butlers (M&B), a brewery formed in 1898 by the merger of two Smethwick brewers. The company owned and ran a great number of licensed premises and later merged with larger concerns. The Marlborough appears to have been built on the site of a former building, shown on the Ordnance Survey Map of 1890. The existing building is shown on the Second Edition of 1904, on a similar footprint to its current plan, with a row of terraced houses is attached to the west. The pub is located on what was the industrial edge of Birmingham, which still contained some farmland in 1890, but was replaced with factories and working-class terraces by 1904. The Marlborough was relatively unaltered during the C20, although there is some internal reordering to the ground floor public conveniences, and the first and second floors. In the late-C20, the terraced housing next to the pub were demolished and replaced with a surface car park. The Marlborough has remained in its original use throughout its history.

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The Marlborough, Sparkbrook has been designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:

* Architecturally the pub is a largely intact example of a late Victorian public house with a prominent clock tower feature.
* Although some elegant design elements have been replaced, such as some etched glass, it retains its early-C20 character.
* The original layout, with separate bars, smoke room, off-sales area, dining room and club room are a rare survival.
* There are extensive internal features of special interest remaining, including etched/ coloured glass and extensive areas of ceramic tiling.

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