The Walsall pub in a listed building that was once a library and is full of nods to its past
As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Express & Star continues its Love Your Local series which celebrates our local inns.
St. Matthew's Hall in Lichfield Street, Walsall is a pub set within a striking Grade II listed building that was built and used as the town's first permanent subscribers' library.
Built in 1830 in the Greek Doric style, the building eventually went onto become a pub and today it is part of the JD Wetherspoon chain, but the interior still pays homage to its history with bits of architecture designed to keep the look, and according to the manager, the bathrooms still even look like a library.
That manager is Cris Wall, 39, from Willenhall, and he has been running St. Matthew's Hall for three weeks.
Cris has worked with Wetherspoons for around nine years but after moving up the ranks, this is his first time running a pub - and he is enjoying every moment.
He said: "I joined the pub trade a little later in life, when I was around 30 and I became a barman - before that I was a computer programmer.
"Making that change in my career, I instantly took to it and my personality is that I want to do the best in whatever job I do and I become focused on becoming the best.