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Tally Ho public house

A Grade II Listed Building in Old Town, East Sussex

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Latitude: 50.7722 / 50°46'20"N

Longitude: 0.2618 / 0°15'42"E

OS Eastings: 559580

OS Northings: 99400

OS Grid: TV595994

Mapcode National: GBR MV7.F1R

Mapcode Global: FRA C7F1.HV9

Entry Name: Tally Ho public house

Listing Date: 24 September 2013

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1415582

Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex, BN21

County: East Sussex

District: Eastbourne

Electoral Ward/Division: Old Town

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Eastbourne

Traditional County: Sussex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): East Sussex

Church of England Parish: Eastbourne St Mary

Church of England Diocese: Chichester

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The Tally Ho Public House, built in 1927 for the Brighton-based Kemp Town Brewery by John Leopold Denman, their in-house architect.


Public house, 1927 by JL Denman for Kemp Town Brewery (KTB) in a distinctive vernacular revival manner.

Hand made red brick laid in stretcher bond, and stone, with decorative tile and knapped flint panels, plain tile roofs (the roof tiles by W Brown of Redhill). Extensive, applied, pressed metal and plaster decorative panels.

Corner plot, on a sloping site, with a prominent entrance at the angle. The main block in two storeys and basements, was laid out with the bars and probably a dining room or private room on the ground floor and accommodation on the upper floor. The bar area has been opened up to form a single space, but the rear room, possibly added later, remains a separate room. The ground falls away to the north, accommodating an off-licence at street level. Attached to the west of the main building is a single-storey function room, gable to the road.

The main two-storey block is in two near-symmetrical bays facing Church Street and a single bay on Green Street, under steeply pitched hipped roofs. The main entrance is set back within the angle, reached by a flight of stone steps between curved retaining walls in stone, with chequerwork flint panels. The entrance has a pair of moulded doorways with chamfered and crocketed arches either side of a chamfered central pier. Oak doors, originally stained rather than painted, have vertical linenfold moulded panels shaped at the head and a central vertical glazed panel with rectangular leaded lights. Flanking windows are pairs of two-light chamfered stone mullions with rectangular leaded panes, the central panel depicting a dolphin, all set in a flush stone wall enhanced with chequerwork flint panels. Applied to the deep, flush stone fascia band above the entrance is a pressed metal and plaster frieze depicting hunting scenes.

Above the entrance is a three-light window, set in a tall stone surround. Each light has a shaped head similar to the doorways and rectangular leaded panes. A pair of cast iron lamp standards, painted black to resemble bronze, each with a pair of facetted green glass lanterns, is attached to the retaining walls and a single lantern resembling a standard street lamp is suspended above the entrance.

The Church Street elevation is principally in brick with decorative tile aprons to the first floor oriel windows. Windows throughout have metal-framed, leaded rectangular lights, on the upper floor in moulded timber frames. The base has deep stone quoins which continue as buttress-like stone piers to the ground floor. The left hand pier has a pressed metal and plaster panel depicting dolphins and grapes, the brewery’s insignia, set in a moulded stone frame. The equivalent right-hand panel is missing. The centrepiece breaks forward slightly and at ground floor has a pair of four-light mullion windows; each light has a shaped head with a cushion-like capital bearing the KTB monogram and insignia. The first floor breaks forward over the ground floor and the soffit is moulded and inscribed Tally-Ho Hotel and Kemp Town Brewery. A pair of four-light oriel windows beneath tile-hung gablets have metal-framed casements in moulded timber frames; the almost ogival-shaped heads have patterned leaded glazing. The moulded stone cornice and narrow stone eaves band continue across the other elevations; to the left is a tall, chamfered, lozenge-sectioned brick stack with an offset shoulder and moulded cap. This model is repeated elsewhere in the building. The pub sign, suspended from a timber bracket, has a cut-out image of a huntsman and hounds in a decorative metal frame inscribed The Tally-Ho.

The return elevation to Green Street is similarly treated in a single wide bay. Because of the fall of the land it has a long basement window of deep-set, paired rectangular windows. The window lighting the main floor is of six shaped lights and the oriel above of five lights. The soffit of the upper floor is inscribed Tally Ho Hotel, with a dolphin to each side. The buttress piers also have a pressed metal panel of a dolphin and there is a second, possibly later hanging sign, with the name The Tally Ho. To the north, a tall external stack with paired shafts rises through the eaves line.

To the right of it the dining room/private room is set back within a flat-roofed block. It has east-facing timber-framed French doors and flanking windows with rectangular leaded lights. The northern two-storey elevation, which is purely functional, is in brick and has metal- framed casements and cross casements and a centrally placed part-glazed panelled door.

On the street frontage is a single-storey off-licence which is integral to the architectural composition. Built of dressed stone, with the same decorative dolphin panels as elsewhere, it has a symmetrical timber shop front of small-paned fixed lights and a part-glazed, unpainted, door with moulded panels and a shaped head beneath an elaborate fascia. Above the shop front is a full length pressed metal fascia panel with a vine leaf trail and bunches of grapes either side of a shield of six small birds and over the door the name, The Tally-Ho. The soffit above the shop entrance is decorated with the monogram KTB, flanked by on each side by a dolphin. Above the north-facing shop window the fascia is inscribed The Tally Ho.

The single-storey function room facing Church Street is an integral part of the building and of its architectural composition. It is set out symmetrically with a large bow window facing the road, flanked by a pair of entrances. Behind the facade it has a hipped tile roof. The full-height bow window is divided into three stages, with a decorative band between the central and upper stages and has a deep moulded parapet decorated with facing pairs of dolphins and with the KTB monogram. The upper stage windows have shaped heads, separated by cushion-like capitals and have armorial glass. The entrances have shaped, crocketed heads above which is a metal panel bearing the KTB crest flanked by dolphins. Shaped outer oak doorframes, stained rather than painted, have matching doors with linenfold lower panels and a central panel of upper glazed lights with leaded panes, matching the main entrance doors. To the left is a chamfered and moulded brick stack.

The function room has a five-bay flat barrel vaulted roof, of a similar profile to the external door and window arches, with moulded ribs and more elaborate purlins supported on piers with moulded capitals. Some dado panelling and chair rails remain in situ, but altered, at the rear of the room and in the bay where there is also a raised dais. The fireplace to the left hand side of the room has been removed revealing the brick opening.

The bars have been opened up as a single space. Ceiling beams and friezes are decorated with a plaster trail of vine leaves and bunches of grapes. Walls are lined in a simplified interpretation of linenfold panelling that appears to have been altered. Two fireplaces remain in place, the northern example heavily restored. The bar has been reconfigured, but traces of the original decoration and some shelving remain at the rear. The walls are lined with banquette seating arranged in seating bays on the roadside. Internal ground floor doors have small moulded panels, those nearest the entrances with some glazed lights. Some have patent floor plates.

To the rear of the bar, stairs have a closed string, paired flat balusters and square newels with plain drop finials. The stair is lit by an internal circular window depicting a knight on a white horse, with the KTB monogram below it, positioned in a way that it was intended to be read from the corridor behind the bar. On the first floor rooms have small moulded timber fireplace surrounds, with tiled linings and hearths. Doors are of three horizontal panels and some have original door furniture. The former off-licence has a vine-leaf trail cornice.


The Tally Ho Public House was built in 1927 for the Brighton-based Kemp Town Brewery by John Leopold Denman, their in-house architect. The brewery was formed of an amalgamation of smaller breweries in Brighton and Eastbourne and built and managed a considerable number of pubs in Sussex, including the Dolphin and Eagle public houses both in South Street, Eastbourne and the Bourne Inn, Eastbourne. The brewery was committed to the national Movement to Improve Public Houses, setting out its intentions in 'Houses of Repute in Sussex' which was published in the early 1930s. The Tally Ho bears the hallmarks of these 'improved' pubs, aimed at controlling excessive drinking by encouraging dining and social congress, creating places where a man could 'take his wife and family without hesitation'. These new inns were invariably built in a traditional, revivalist manner, their aim to 'encourage a healthy school of modern architecture' which would stand out favourably in the future.

JL Denman (1882-1975), was a prolific local architect within a family firm that spanned several generations. He was also responsible for the Dolphin Public House, of similar date, in South Street, Eastbourne. The practice's work, most of which was in Brighton, included the Freemasons Restaurant, Western Road (1928), Sussex Eye Hospital (1933) and Regent House, Princes Place of 1934.

The Tally Ho replaced an earlier pub of the same name, which was first marked on the 1870 OS map and was built to serve the neighbouring area, now known as the Old Town, which was laid out as streets of terraced housing from the 1850s.

The flat-roofed section of the building, also constructed in 1927, formed the large living-room and kitchen of the private accommodation. A photograph dated 1930 shows the name Kemp Town Brewery in large gilded upper case individual metal letters mounted below the top of the brickwork and extending the full length of the flat-roof section of the building.

The off-licence now has the name Tally Ho centrally on the fascia above the door. The original panel above the door is said to have depicted a swag of vine leaves and the words Wine Office - Wine written above the swag and Office below. It was changed in the 1970s and it appears an extra panel was mounted over the words 'Wine Office', the original metal section retained underneath.

Two gilded metal pub signs were made by The Birmingham Guild, in 1927. This Arts and Crafts company also made the standard lamps either side of the steps at the main entrance and the pressed metal panels and friezes above the main doors and off-licence. The remaining sign, on the Church Street elevation, was partially restored in the late 1980s, when it was painted; the originals are said to have been unpainted. The lower, blank, semi circular section replaces the original panel which depicted a fox head, centrally placed over two crossed riding crops, with two curved hunting horns framing the fox's head. These were also cut out in the manner of the upper section of the sign. The signs were exhibited at the Inn Signs Exhibition 1936 held at the Builders Centre in Bond Street London 2-28 November of that year.

Reasons for Listing

The Tally Ho Public House, built in 1927 for the Brighton-based Kemp Town Brewery by John Leopold Denman, their in-house architect, is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architectural interest: a striking Arts and Crafts, Sussex vernacular inspired pub, occupying a prominent corner site, one of the best public houses by the brewery's in-house architect JL Denman;
* Intactness: remarkably unaltered exterior retaining its joinery and windows, distinctive decorative panels and signage, these and its interior plan reflecting the brewery's ethos;
* Historic interest: improved public house, designed in an intentionally historicist manner, expressing the Kemp Town Brewery's social commitment to providing family pubs, prominently placed on the approach to Eastbourne and also built to serve its immediate neighbourhood.

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