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Railway Tavern, 16 Forth Street

A Category C Listed Building in West Fife and Coastal Villages, Fife

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Latitude: 56.0675 / 56°4'2"N

Longitude: -3.7224 / 3°43'20"W

OS Eastings: 292866

OS Northings: 687409

OS Grid: NS928874

Mapcode National: GBR 1M.PPPP

Mapcode Global: WH5QM.SRMG

Plus Code: 9C8R378H+X2

Entry Name: Railway Tavern, 16 Forth Street

Listing Name: 16 Forth Street, Railway Tavern

Listing Date: 9 July 2008

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 399975

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB51130

Building Class: Cultural

ID on this website: 200399975

Location: Tulliallan

County: Fife

Electoral Ward: West Fife and Coastal Villages

Parish: Tulliallan

Traditional County: Fife

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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Probably mid to later 19th century, possibly incorporating earlier fabric. Rare survival of public house in vernacular 2-storey (probably raised from single storey), 4-bay (at ground) terraced dwelling located on shores of River Forth and probably on site of pre-1800 drovers inn, unusual for simplicity of both interior and exterior. Roughly coursed blue/grey rubble with roughly squared quoins and raised ashlar margins to deep set windows. Deep base course.

FURTHER DESCRIPTION: entrance elevation to NW. 2 closely aligned doors to centre, that to left with 2-leaf panelled timber and small keystone bearing lettering 'J DOBIE / LICENSEE', that to right with modern timber door, windows in flanking bays below slightly larger windows at 1st floor. Steep stone stair to outer left leading to timber gate and 1st floor door at gabled NE elevation.

INTERIOR: rare survival of original plan with separate rooms incorporating narrow passage with boarded dado, hatch, shelf (for passageway drinking) and bell-box leading to 3 roomed interior comprising tiny public bar at left with deep timber-lined window reveals, Art Deco detail to cast iron fireplace, plain counter with Bakelite top, back gantry of simple domestic shelving, 2-leaf glazed door to display cupboard and seating of 4 double bus seats facing single Formica-topped table on cast iron base. 3 further rooms with numbered doors, 2 and 3 with bell pushes for table service, 1 now a store room.

Principal elevations with plate glass glazing in timber sash and case windows to 1st floor, modern glazing at ground. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks with thackstanes and cans. Ashlar-coped skews.

Statement of Interest

The Railway Tavern is a rare survivor, especially interesting for its completeness, simplicity and scale. It is sited overlooking a small grassed area on the bank of the River Forth. Small bars serving alcohol from a room within domestic accommodation, or even simply through a window, were once commonplace throughout Scotland. Rudolph Kenna in People's Palaces describes the evolution of this type of bar, adding "For many years after the advent of the late Victorian palace pub, hostelries of the old quasi-domestic sort continued to survive in the back streets of the towns and cities, in the suburbs, and in the country". This bar, distinguishable from the outside only by the small keystone stating the name of the licensee, is thought to date back to 18th century when "the natural crossings of the Forth were at Alloa and Kincardine-on-Forth, and the Minute Book of the Justices of the Peace for Stirlingshire for the year 1827 shows the two ferries in active use by the drovers" (Haldane). Drovers crossing the Ochils often used several less obvious routes in order to avoid tolls and, bound for the Falkirk tryst, would have used the Kincardine ferry. It is not known when the bar changed its name to The Railway Tavern, but the North British Railway opened a terminal station at Kincardine on 18 December 1893.

The public bar seats originate from Alexander's bus builders of Falkirk. Listed as part of the Public Houses Thematic Study 2007-08.

External Links

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