The Magpie Inn was built in 1933 to serve the housing estates to the east of the city (photo 1). It was in State Management Scheme architect Harry Redfern’s favoured Arts & Crafts style and featured a public bar, a smoke room and a tea room. The pub interior had been opened out but in 2010 Samuel Smith’s Brewery won Camra’s Best Refurbishment award for restoring the original rooms, and in 2011 it was Grade II listed by Historic England.
The interior photo shows the restored smoke room with wood and glass screens, oak panelling and the original 1930s tiled fireplace (photo 3). The brewery also restored the bowling green and it is now the only one of Redfern’s five bowling greens to still be in use (photo 4).
I visited on a quiet weekday afternoon and the friendly management were happy for me to eat the sandwich I’d bought locally in the pub along with a bottle of the brewery’s excellent Oatmeal Stout. At busier times it’s a popular community pub with pool table and an active bowling club. There is no food or real ale.
For more about the State Management Scheme and Harry Redfern’s Carlisle pubs see my article: tinyurl.com/2p8vj8b2
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