St Austell works with local archaeologists on pub restoration

By Fred A'Court

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: St austell brewery, Cornwall

Heritage: The Chain Locker is nearly 400 years old
Heritage: The Chain Locker is nearly 400 years old
A West Country brewery has been working with county archaeologists during a multi-million pound restoration of a 400-year-old pub and former hotel.  

St Austell Brewery had been hoping to reopen the Chain Locker in Falmouth’s North Quay at Easter, but remedial work to put right centuries of dilapidation led to a six-month delay while major structural work was carried out and the Cornwall Archaeological Unit uncovered the past.

Spokesman and brewery curator Chris Knight said lots of architectural features, including 18th-century wallpaper and old furniture, had been discovered.  

One of the oldest pubs in Falmouth

Originally built as the Marine Hotel in 1660, it became the the Chain Locker in 1742, making it one of the oldest, if not the oldest, pub in Falmouth. It is Grade 11-listed.

“We’re putting the pub element back in with the extra dimension of a balcony restaurant to make it the beating heart of the old town quay, just down the road from Cornwall’s National Maritime Museum,” said Knight.

A maritime feel to the premises will be maintained.

September reopening

“Once we started peeling off the surface we realised how much there was to do,” he added. “We discovered that one entire wall was standing on dust and slate, it was why the floor was so bouncy. Eventually we decided we had to rebuild one entire side of the building.”

The old pub closed last November and a new premises licence has already been granted for a planned reopening as a managed house in September.

St Austell Brewery has a number of heritage pubs, including Havener’s in Fowey, in a building that dates back to the late 13th or early 14th century.

Knight said: “When we refurbished that, we found the building was resting on an old clay pizza oven!” 

Related topics: Marketing

Related news