New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Friday Photo: Snob Screens in The Bartons Arms

Posted October 16th, 2015 by Julie Webb with No Comments

Bartons Arms Snob ScreensThis week’s Friday photo is the snob screens in the beautiful Bartons Arms pub. Last month I had the pleasure of attending “A Taste & Tour of The Bartons Arms”, which is hosted by local author and Laurel & Hardy enthusiast John Ullah.  The tour charted the history of the pub from its opening in 1901 until it’s present day reinvention as a Thai restaurant and real ale pub.  The building is really quite special, built as a Mitchell and Butlers flagship, it cost £1200 to build and the attention to detail and materials used could not compare to anything built today! It’s beautiful internal features including rich mahogany woodworking’s, stained and engraved windows and mirrors and an amazing sweeping wrought-iron staircase.   It is most famous though for its wall to wall Minton-Hollins tiles.  The snob-screen, as pictured, are also a lovely original feature and are a  relic from the hierarchical society of Victorian & Edwardian Britain.  Snob screens at the Bartons Arms allowed middle class and well to do drinkers to block out the view of working class drinkers in an adjacent bar.  It also allowed them to have some privacy from the bar staff so they didn’t overhear any potential gossip! This feature is now really rare in the UK so it’s great to see them survive here. I really enjoyed this tour and highly recommend it to any BCT followers who have not had the chance to visit.   The Thai food is also amazing!

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