Cock Hotel Announcement: Joule’s Brewery Acquires Briar Clyffe Panelling

Joule's Brewery is delighted to announce that it has acquired the Briar Clyffe panelling from Reclaimed World, the reclamation specialists, for use within its Pub estate. The panelling originates from Briar Clyffe House in Lowestoft Suffolk. Dating from 1911 they were commissioned by one of the richest businessmen of the era, Howard Hollingsworth, for his home and bear his HH motif. Two fully panelled rooms have survived, whilst not exceptionally old, they are both of unparalleled quality. 

Hollingsworth was the name of London in 1911 when these rooms were commissioned, they would have received the very best customers from his Bourne and Hollingsworth department store on Oxford Street. A rival to the finest department stores in London.

Briar Clyffe was fully restored into a magnificent mansion facing the open sea, with over 30 staff managing the grounds, the house, a fleet of cars, several speedboats and a beautiful sailing boat named Telesia. Hollingsworth died in 1938 and in 1981 the house became a boarding school which closed in 2000. The house was too large to maintain and eventually fell into disrepair, finally demolished in 2014. A luxury set of apartments now occupy the site. Luckily these two rooms were saved and have now been bought by Joule's Brewery.

Ben Taylor from Reclaimed World comments: Money was clearly no object, the carving is intricate and detailed, and there is plenty of it. There are two rooms, one of oak and one of walnut. They are the best I have ever seen - by a country mile.

Bryn Pass, Camra Liaison officer for Market Drayton, comments: Joule's have deservedly won the coveted National Pub Design Awards, awarded by English Heritage, the Victorian Society and Camra on four occasions, the most of any Brewery by the size of the estate. The National Design Awards recognise excellence in design, to be successful authenticity is key, creativity, sustainability and most importantly an understanding of Pub evolution. In all of these instances, the schemes utilised reclaimed materials. The Red Lion in Market Drayton is one of the award-winning Pubs. The stunning Mouseman panelled room is the centrepiece of the Pub and I am sure the Brewery will be looking for a similar impact with the Briar Clyffe rooms which are especially fine.

The Briar Clyffe games room is crafted in oak and features individually carved masks of green men, human faces and demons. The central heavily carved overmantel panel features decks of cards along with the maker's initials 'facet GE’. The work all suggests an original commission for a games room, the demons are an especially interesting touch suggestive of the perils of gambling. They echo the devils head carving by Robert Thompson [the Mouseman] installed at Joule's Brewery in 2010, which warns of the perils of capitalism.

The Walnut drawing room is equally impressive, more serious, elegant, classical with two heavily carved fireplaces, fluted pilasters and also with the monogram HH, all in all, approaching 100ft.

One of the rooms will be installed in The Cock Hotel, Wellington when it is restored in 2020 and it is hoped that the other will be installed in the White Horse in Shrewsbury. As the Pubs are close to one another it will forge a relationship between the two.

Steve Nuttall MD: These fine Pubs have the stature and status to carry these most exceptional rooms and we like the idea they will be accessible for the public to admire rather than go to a private house. We don’t yet know which will be used in which, but to install something of this quality and size means that we will need to shape the project around the panels. This kind of project is only viable when we plan a substantial 'once in a generation' restoration. In the case of these Pubs, they are both grand, status buildings which have the scope for these rooms to work well and, we hope, be universally admired. The Cock Hotel is especially imposing; it's been the Grandfather Pub in Wellington for many years. The White Horse sits opposite Shire Hall and The Lord Hill Statue, it's our county town flagship - so that’s a wonderful fit. Both will, of course, be subject to planning consent, especially the Cock Hotel which is a listed building. I am sure the conservation team will be very excited that the panels are coming to Shropshire.