Express & Star

The Wolverhampton city centre pub which offers cosy comfort and great chat

The offerings for pubs in the centre of a town or city can be a bit limiting if you are looking for a traditional pub.

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A lot of pubs and bars can be designed more for a younger crowd, with loud music and drinks more suited to people out for a big night, rather than a quiet pint.

Among the pubs in the city of Wolverhampton to buck that trend, however, is the Lych Gate Tavern on Queen Square, which has become a popular spot for people looking to enjoy some ale in a quiet and comfortable setting.

The pub has only been part of the city centre since 2012, but is housed in one of the oldest timber-framed buildings in Wolverhampton, with a Georgian frontage dating from 1726 and a timber-framed rear which goes back to the 16th century.

Its location is a unique one, set in the lower ground area of the building, with people walking by able to look through the windows into the pub from ground level.

Once inside, the senses are hit with an aroma of beer, cheese cobs and the roaring fire, as well as chatter from all corners of the pub, with wooden padded seating available on both sides, as well as in a function room on the first floor and a covered outside area.

Patrons can enjoy a roaring fire as they sit with their beers

The pub is owned by Black Country Ales, with licensee Tom Silcock the latest person to take over the running of the pub after a decade of drinking and working there.

He recalls: "It was opened 12 years ago as a Black Country Ales pub and I came in on the first day with my dad, so I've been a customer for 12 years and also worked on and off for around six years here, so I got to know the licensees and Black Country Ales in general.

"That meant that when they were looking for a new licensee, they got in touch with me and said they were looking for someone who fit the pub right and asked if I was interested.

"I'd been working for Carlsberg Marstons and decided to take the jump as I feel like I'm part of the furniture, having been a regular drinker here for 12 years and working as well, so it felt a natural step up to do it."

The bar is accessible on two sides

The pub has three regular beers on tap from Black Country Ales, with Bradley's Finest Golden, Fireside and Pig on the Wall, and 10 hand pulls in general, with two dark ales and a selection of lighter ales.

Mr Silcock says the most popular one among the regulars is Bradley's Finest Golden, a drink he describes as a good session ale.

It contains a lot of historic timber frames and a warm feeling

He also says the popularity of the pub is down to its feel and welcoming atmosphere.

He explains: "It's got a different feel to it than what you'd expect from a city centre pub, as most will be more contemporary, whereas this has always had a locals feel as you get the same people coming in, but you also get a lot of people who've never been in before.

"It means that you'll get people chatting to each other who've never met before before and you've had decades-long friendships which started from just chatting in here."

The outside area is a popular place to be in the summer

The interior of the pub has not changed much from the day it became the Lych Gate Tavern, with Mr Silcock saying that it was a Grade II listed building, so no major changes had been made apart from having to replace chairs which had fallen into disrepair.

He says the pub is special because of its historic home and because of the people, who he describes as eclectic and 'what makes it work'.

The Lych Gate Tavern is a city centre pub with a warm welcome

"The building is a wonderful and historic one with so much history in the walls, while we have such an eclectic mix of people who enjoy chatting with each other.

"You could have a gent who is 96 years old and he'll be there talking to Jimmy, who is in his 40s, and it's really the people who make this place what it is."