The Shakespeare in West Castle Street was awarded the Joe Goodwin Award for best street-corner local in CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards.
The awards, held in conjunction with Historic England, celebrate exceptional pubs across the country that have undergone conversion or conservation work, or are newly built.
The Shakespeare was deemed to be a taphouse with beer truly at the heart, with log burners and bespoke stained-glass windows adding to the pub’s character. Inspectors from the campaign highlighted cosy snugs and great events spaces, with the new Boat House and internal courtyard maximising flexibility and accessibility.
Andrew Davison, chairman of CAMRA's Pub Design Award judging panel, said the renovations the Shakespeare has undergone have given the pub its character and warmth back, preserving the log burners already in place and ensuring they were focal points throughout the pub.
He added: “The Shakespeare’s owners, Joules Brewery of Market Drayton, worked with architect Marie Poole of Hall’s Holdings and have come up with a building which, whilst offering every modern facility, including an impressive function room, feels as if it has always been here, and has always been just as it is.
“All this despite the fact that the layout of the building has been changed considerably, with the introduction of new partitions to create intimate and comfortable spaces, and the removal of modern intrusions to be replaced by traditional materials and finishes, including specially-commissioned stained glass windows.
"Sited at the heart of a historic market town, this is a pub for meeting friends and acquaintances, for indulging in conversation and laughter, or just for watching the world go by.
"The late CAMRA chairman, for whom this award is named, was a great enthusiast for, and champion of, pubs such as this, and it is a worthy winner of the award named in his memory.”
In line with current social distancing measures, all award winners part of the campaign will be recognised at an event hosted in CAMRA’s new virtual pub, the Red (On)Lion, by judges at 7pm on May 7.
To join the event visit theredonlion.co.uk/bar/join/Pub-Design-Awards
The award is being celebrated as CAMRA is underway with its #PullingTogether campaign, highlighting the initiatives pubs and breweries are using to keep themselves afloat during the coronavirus lockdown.