The Bartons Arms

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The Bartons Arms
The Barton Arms, Newtown - - 1671637.jpg
The Bartons Arms in January 2010, with the Drum behind it and to the right
General information
TypePublic house
LocationHigh Street, Aston, Birmingham, England
Coordinates52°29′57″N 1°53′43″W / 52.4992°N 1.8953°W / 52.4992; -1.8953Coordinates: 52°29′57″N 1°53′43″W / 52.4992°N 1.8953°W / 52.4992; -1.8953
Completed1901 (1901)
Design and construction
ArchitectJames and Lister Lea
Awards and prizesGrade II* listed

The Bartons Arms (grid reference SP072890) is a public house in the High Street (part of the A34) in the Newtown area of Aston, Birmingham, England.

Built in 1900-1901 by noted pub architects partnership James and Lister Lea for Mitchells & Butlers, it is a grade II* listed building, and is on the Campaign for Real Ale's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.[1]

The pub is known for its wall-to-wall Minton-Hollins tiles and its snob screens, which allowed middle class drinkers to see working class drinkers in an adjacent bar, but not to be seen by them.[1] The current public bar was originally divided into three.[1] There are function rooms upstairs, originally for billiards and club use.[1]

Laurel and Hardy stayed there in May 1954, while appearing at the adjacent Aston Hippodrome (now demolished, replaced by The Drum Arts Centre), and were photographed serving beer from behind the bar.

The pub features in the 1999 Atom Egoyan Birmingham-set film Felicia's Journey. It also features in the 2006 novel by Ron Dawson, The Last Viking: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Heist; as the gang of robbers meet in the pub.

It was purchased in 2002 by Oakham Ales who restored the building to its former greatness before reopening it in 2003, after three years out-of-use.[1] On 28 July 2006, the pub was damaged by fire, reportedly caused by an electrical fault.[2]

During the 2011 England riots, the pub was looted, windows were smashed, and fires started, albeit quickly doused by the manager, Wichai Thumjaron.[3] Up to eight shots were fired at police who attended the incident.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e Brandwood, Geoff (2013). Britain's Best Real Heritage Pubs. CAMRA Books. p. 161. ISBN 978-1-85249-304-2.
  2. ^ Fire damages Victorian building - BBC News
  3. ^ Farncombe, Vicky (2011-08-13). "Birmingham Riots: Night of terror for Barton Arms managers". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  4. ^ Cowan, Mark (2011-08-13). "Birmingham Riots: Police were fired at during Barton Arms looting". Birmingham Mail. Retrieved 17 August 2011.

External links[edit]

Historic England. "Details from image database (217286)". Images of England.