Black Horse, Birmingham

Bristol Road South
Northfield
Birmingham
B31 2QT
0121 477 1800

The Black Horse is a huge inter-war roadhouse on the main Bristol Road out of Birmingham. It was built in 1929 for Davenports Brewery with an impressive half timbered exterior in the Tudor style (photo 1). It is Grade II* listed and Historic England describes its architectural quality:

the building is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of public house architecture of the inter-war period, combining careful planning, authentic construction, imaginative design and inspired craftsmanship;

It’s built in the style of medieval black and white timbered buildings in the Midlands with carved woodwork, dormers and prominent chimneys. The projecting gable at the north end has an original carved wooden frame holding the inn sign (photo 2). Many pubs in this style are described as Mock Tudor or Brewers Tudor in a disparaging style, especially those with fake timbering added to an unremarkable building. But the Black Horse is as authentic as Mock Tudor can be!

Inside are a number of rooms in the arts and crafts style based on an imaginary medieval past. The hall has panelled walls and a curved decorative ceiling (photo 3). The carving of the black horse is above a medieval style stone fireplace (photo 4).

The pub is now owned by Wetherspoons who saved it from closure in 2010. All the usual Wetherspoon provision is there with a good range of cask ales and early opening with an all-day menu.

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