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Plau bar in Friargate to be made grade-II listed building

Posted on - 16th December, 2020 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Food & Drink, History, Preston News, Pubs, Redevelopment, Restaurants in Preston
Plau, the former Plough Inn, 115 and 115a Friargate, Preston. Pic: Plau 2020

58 historic places in the North West have been added to the National Heritage List for England during 2020.

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As the year draws to a close, Historic England are celebrating the sites that have been given protection.

Plau, the former Plough Inn 115 and 115a Friargate, Preston has been listed at Grade II.

The renovated and award-winning bar has been a public house since the 18th century.

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It was originally associated with the notorious gin craze, and later linked to the beginning of the temperance movement.

Thomas Swindlehurst, a leading national temperance crusador, decided to forswear all alcohol whilst drinking at the establishment in 1832.

His actions anticipated the adoption of teetotalism by the temperance movement, a cause to which he dedicated the rest of his life.

Plau’s cellar. Pic: Plau 2020

The Preston building has a number of notable architectural features, including a handmade brick vault containing a mash-pit and stand, probably the previous location of a still where the gin was made.

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On the top floor, an unusual reed and plaster ceiling is preserved.

The careful restoration of the premises by the present owner achieved national recognition in April, winning ‘Best Conversion To Pub Use’ by CAMRA and Historic England in the National Pub Design Awards.

Restoration work being done at Plau, the former Plough Inn. Pic: Plau 2020

The listing of the premises followed an application from the owner, Jeremy Rowlands, who worked closely with Preston City Council’s conservation officer to ensure this remarkable building has now achieved national recognition.

Jeremy said: “I am delighted that Historic England has chosen to recognise the special history of Plau. It’s been an incredibly tough year and this news has given us a real boost as we look forward to welcoming back our customers in 2021.

“If, like Thomas Swindlehurst, you’re planning a dry January, we also offer some very tasty non-alcoholic cocktails.”

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