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Press Release


Former butcher’s shop cuts through the competition

The Butcher’s Hook is ‘highly commended’ in CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards for Conversion to Pub Use

The Butcher’s Hook in Thornbury, Gloucestershire has been ‘highly commended’ in CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards for its conversion to pub use last August.

The former butcher’s shop dates back to the mid-17th century and boasts a Grade-II listing, however, it has since been transformed into a clocks/antique shop and then later an Indian restaurant, before it was left empty and derelict for two years from February 2016 to August 2018. The building was in a poor state and required significant structural modifications to turn it into a functioning pub, including an extension to the back.

The existing trade areas were redecorated as sympathetically as possible. The removal of the chipboard flooring revealed an old flagstone floor and many period features such as the butcher’s meat rails and hooks have been left in place. A brand new bar counter was built to serve eight real ales and five keg lines from and traditional, antique furniture was brought in. The revival of the pub made it the first new pub to open in Thornbury in the last 150 years.

CAMRA will be celebrating the achievement with a presentation event today, just days before the launch of its Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going over the warmer months and celebrate the contribution of the great British pub to our heritage.

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “The simple presentation of the interior uses original features in a way that attracts the eye. The landlord, Peter Tiley, with the owners Sir George and Lady Joanna White have resisted the temptation to over-elaborate, with the result that the conversion is very sympathetic to the Grade II listed building.

“It is apparent that great care has been taken to retain original features such as the screen partition between rooms two and three, original flooring, a sunken wall cupboard, and the meat hanging rails on the ceiling and hooks on the walls from the butchering days.”

Landlord Peter Tiley, who also runs the former CAMRA National Pub of the Year the Salutation Inn at Ham said: “I consider myself extremely privileged to have the opportunity to create and run a brand new pub in such a historic building. I’m very grateful to the owners George and Joanna for allowing me to do so and for sympathetically renovating and re-designing the Butcher’s Hook to enable it to be used in a way which serves the community and brings a new lease of life to a very beautiful old building.

“Huge credit is also due to my partner and designer Lizzie Hammond who was instrumental in the final design and fit-out stages in which we decided to allow the building’s historic features to shine through. This ‘less is more’ approach is reflected in the simple and traditional way we run the pub – we provide great quality ale, cider and cheese and let conversation, people and the building do the rest. We are utterly thrilled and delighted to have the pub recognised by CAMRA in this way”.

A presentation event for the pub will be taking place at the Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent, which won the Historic England Conservation Award and will host the ceremony this year. The event is open to the press and will take place on 23 May at 12 noon.

Images of the pub are available here

The Pub Design Awards, run in conjunction with Historic England, recognise the very best in British pub architecture and design. This year’s winners include:

  • The Pilot Boat in Lyme Regis for a refurbishment project described as a ‘labour of love’ by Palmers Brewery which brought the tired and dated seaside inn into the modern era
  • The Royal Pavilion in Ramsgate for the conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub by Wetherspoons
  • The Slaughterhouse in Guernsey for the inspired conversion of a historic slaughterhouse into a unique and distinctive pub in the hub of St Peter’s Port by R W Randall
  • The Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent for Joules’ Brewery’s tasteful conservation of the historic tap house dating back to the 1800s
  • The Cardigan Arms in Leeds which was saved from closure by Kirstall Brewery, which turned around the pub’s fortunes

Pubs that were highly commended include:

  • The Sekforde Arms, London for its restoration after nearly 200 years of serving pints
  • The Butcher’s Hook, Thornbury which was left empty and derelict before significant investment brought the former butcher shop back to life
  • The Draughtsman Alehouse, Doncaster which was transformed from a disused storage area into a bustling micropub on platform 3b of Doncaster rail station