The Vines (The Big House)
Lime Street
 
Picture donated by Dave Wood
 
Designer: Walter Thomas
Internal decorations: Gustav Hiller & The Bromsgrove Guild
 
  Albert B. Vines built a pub here in 1869. This building, for the Liverpool brewers Robert Cain, dates from 1907. The Vines is known to one and all as The Big House. This exuberantly baroque pub has etched glass windows, a folly tower and extravagant faux Dutch gables. Inside, in the lounge bar there is a monumental fireplace in mahogany & beaten copper. In the Queensbury Room, above the fireplace is a splendid wooden bas-relief Viking Longboats by Gustave Hiller. Around the walls there are fifteen plaster relief panels of children engaged in allegorical pursuits. Upon the ceiling is an oval plaster relief with panels including 12 zodiacal designs. Pevsner attributes the plaster reliefs to The Bromsgrove Guild. The Vines was once owned by A. B. Walker who was later to pay for The Walker Art Gallery. At one time it boasted its own art collection and this is still reflected in the 'ballroom' at the rear which is often closed for private functions. The pub, often full of Liverpool characters, can be quite boisterous later in the evenings and at weekends but does have several rooms broken by booths and screens.

Sources: Pevsner Architectural Guides: Liverpool by Joseph Sharples, Public Sculpture in Liverpool by Terry Cavanagh, Walks Through History: Liverpool by David Lewis & http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/localhistory/journey/lime_street/pubs/pub_index.shtml

Alan Maycock 2007

 

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