Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Loggerheads, Shrewsbury

If you only have time to visit one pub in Shrewsbury, my recommendation would be the fabulously unspoilt Loggerheads on Church Street. Located in the very centre of the town, this is surely every tourists idea of the quintessential English pub. A truly historic and unspoilt alehouse, important enough to be included on CAMRA's inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

There's absolutely no doubting the heritage of the place. It's all there waiting to be seen because thankfully the current owners have resisted the urge to enhance or embellish its natural charms unnecessarily. Beautifully well-maintained, it's also an honest, working, town-centre locals pub, and that is perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the Loggerheads.

This aspect is perhaps most clearly seen in the small Bar Parlour (above & left), the centrepiece of the pub which fronts the main servery and it's row of polished handpumps.

Quiet and intimate, the kind of place where it's hard not to be drawn into the conversation, indeed it would probably be rude not to. This is clearly the social hub of a friendly and welcoming town-centre pub. Would that all pubs retained a 'Bar Parlour' like this.

There are two entrances to the pub, one takes you down a corridor to a smaller servery, opposite which is the Smoke Room (below). This was a 'Gentleman Only' bolt-hole until as recently as 1975. High backed settles and rough scrubbed-top tables create an intimate space, ideal for an afternoon game of Shove Ha'penny. The pub has a fine old slate board in the 'Smoke', and half pennies are available for a game from the bar.

The other entrance leads directly into the 1930's refurbished Lounge Bar (below), which if it were not for the rest of the Loggerheads attractions would be worth the admission price on its own. Note the erroneous Loggerhead Turtle pub sign mounted above the servery. As can be seen below, this room houses the pubs Dart Board.

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