Nags Head, Bishops Stortford

216 Dunmow Road
Bishop’s Stortford
CM23 5HP
01279 654553

The Nags Head is a rare example of an unspoilt Art Deco or Moderne pub, built in 1934 by the architect E.B. Musman for Benskins Brewery. The streamline design has the flat roof and rounded corners with wraparound metal windows which are typical of the style (photos 1, 3 & 6).

The interior still has a number of art-deco features, including two fireplaces (photo 4) and a clever design on the benches where the window sill transforms into a side table (photo 5). The elegance of the Moderne style is best seen in the bay in the west wing where the fixed seating curves beneath the wraparound metal windows (photo 2). Sadly the streamlined moderne bar counter was replaced in a 2010 refit by current owners McMullens.

The Nags Head’s is one of McMullen’s “Chicken & Grill” pubs, and as you might expect chicken features heavily on the menu. Favourites like steak, fish & chips and pies are also on offer. Cask beer is McMullens Country Bitter and AK Original Mild.

The relief over the main doorway is by the highly regarded sculptor and painter Eric Kennington, and gives a brief account of the founding of Bishops Stortford (photo 6).

E.B. Musman was a prolific interwar pub architect and designed the Comet in Hatfield, also in the moderne style, and other suburban pubs to meet the demands of the expanding Metroland around the capital.

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