Art Deco pub saved after campaign to get it listed and preserved succeeds

PUBLISHED: 12:50 23 November 2017 | UPDATED: 12:50 23 November 2017

An aerial photo of the Iron Duke pub in North Denes area of Great Yarmouth. Photo: Sean Armstrong

An aerial photo of the Iron Duke pub in North Denes area of Great Yarmouth. Photo: Sean Armstrong


An Art Deco pub on Great Yarmouth’s seafront has been preserved by a national heritage body.

The Iron Duke pub in Jellicoe Road has been designated as a listed building making it much harder for it to be demolished.

Historic England, the body in charge of choosing which buildings should be preserved, recommended adding the pub to the list at Grade II, the lowest of three levels of importance.

A Historic England spokesperson said the pub was a well-preserved building and in a notable Art Deco style of considerable architectural quality.

She added: “The Iron Duke’s Art Deco style, with its distinctive massing, curved frontages and flat roofs, is visually striking and architectural elements such as the fluted columns are unusual and quirky.

“The building, which was built in the late 1930s and completed in 1948, is an increasingly rare example of a well-preserved inter-war pub.

“Inside the Iron Duke, historic internal fixtures and fittings can still be seen, illustrating the original design, and the layout survives in its original configuration with a vestibule leading into a large open plan lounge bar and saloon bar.”

History enthusiast Caroline Jones tried to get the building listed, as she feared it could be demolished.

The pub was the work of the architect Arthur W Ecclestone who designed a number of pubs both before and after the Second World War, including The Clipper Schooner in Great Yarmouth and the Links Hotel in Gorleston.

The agent for the landowner of the Iron Duke stated their client has no development plans for the site and it is not therefore at any immediate risk of demolition.

A major research project on inter-war pubs carried out by Historic England between 2013 and 2015, showed that although over 5,000 were built, those numbers are reducing rapidly.

The number of well-preserved inter-war pubs is now only in the region of 150-200. The pub has been boarded up and closed for over a decade.

Despite being incomplete, The Iron Duke opened in 1940 to serve the soldiers manning anti-aircraft guns on North Denes.

It was finished in 1948, with its counters made from teak from Admiral Jellicoe’s flagship, HMS Iron Duke, that led the British fleet in the Battle of Jutland.

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