A public house of c1880 situated in the centre of Midsomer Norton.
Reason for Listing
* Intactness: despite some later alterations, the White Hart has survived mostly complete.
* Interior: it has a good quality late-C19 pub interior with most of its internal fittings and fixtures surviving.
* Group value: it forms an interesting group with the adjacent Town Hall (qv) adding considerably to the quality of the historic streetscene.
* Historic interest: as a prominent meeting place for colliers and other local workers during the late C19 and early C20, it illustrates the history of the local community of Midsomer Norton.
The White Hart in Midsomer Norton was built in the c1880s on a corner plot of The Island in the centre of the town. It is marked on the first edition OS Map of 1887 with an almost hexagonal footprint. In 1889, as recorded in Kelly’s Directory for Somersetshire, the landlord was George Talbot. By the 1880s Midsomer Norton, situated at the heart of the Somerset Coal Field, had grown into a small town with several shops and businesses. It had a particularly large trade in malting and brewing, and it had several collieries.
A late-Victorian public house built in the 1880s by an unknown architect.
MATERIALS: local stone with red brick banding. A conical-shaped roof with deep eaves, covered in slate with a central domed lantern. It has a large stone stack to the left. The former beer store to the rear is built in red stone with a Roman tiled roof.
PLAN: its plan survives mostly intact. It contains an entrance hall with stairs leading to a flat on the first floor. On the ground floor is a public bar and a small private lounge. The lounge to the rear and part of the former beer store, attached to the north, were linked and opened up in 1985 to form another public bar. The skittle alley in the far end of the former beer store, was probably first introduced in the 1950s or 60s.
EXTERIOR: the five bay facade gently curves on the corner and has projecting sill bands to both floors and flush stone bands at the level of the window heads. It has further flush bands in red brick below the centre of the window openings. At ground floor level, the window openings have shouldered flat arches. The tripartite corner window is flanked to the left by two sash windows and to the right by the main entrance with lobby. The latter has a large six panelled door with light above. To the right is a further sash window. At first-floor level were originally five window openings, the second one from left now blocked. The remaining four have six over six panes sashes. The two-storey beer store to the rear right is slightly lower and has a large entrance to the left and a doorway to the right, with two double casement windows above, set in the corners of the elevation.
INTERIOR: the late-Victorian interior survives mostly intact and contains a number of original fixtures and fittings. The entrance hall, which has full height wall panelling, contains a former Jug and Bottle Hatch and a stair with turned balusters. The public bar retains its original counter and bar back, a tiled and cast-iron fire place, timber panelled dados, fixed timber benches to the walls and under the windows, and full height timber wall panelling to the bar entrance in the corner. The private lounge has timber dados with fixed seats and a cast iron fire place. Of the former rear lounge, now opened up, the cast-iron fire place and timber dado survive. The rooms on the first floor retain their Victorian cast-iron fire places with grates, and the landing is lit by a cast-iron domed lantern.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.