As previously reported in ‘Beer Matters,’ Carbrook Hall, the pub, closed two years ago, stood empty for 18 months and, late last year, planning permission was granted to change the building into a drive-through Starbucks. Since then, much building work has occurred.
So far, the owners claim to have spent £735k: roof work, removal of debris round the building, removal of layers of tarmac ….. most importantly, the preservation and partial restoration of the Grade II* listed interior. The ‘Old Oak Room’ is now ready for a careful repainting of the ceiling. In addition, the upstairs room with its C17/18th. fireplace will be brought into public use when the building reopens.
The Old Oak Room is a C17th. panelled ground floor room with vine trail plaster frieze and enriched cross beam ceiling, also with vine trail. There is also an elaborate early C17th. oak chimneypiece with Corinthian columns and allegorical figures and Latin inscription on the over mantel. The motif represents “Wisdom trampling upon Ignorance“.
The building will be handed over to Starbucks in late April, another £250k will be spent and, at some point in August, the Jacobean panelling will be again available to view. It would have been good for the building to remain as a pub. However, the interior is retained and the building will shortly be back in use.
– Dave Pickersgill