The Royal Ams Public House in Stoke Road Gosport has a beautiful glass and cast iron canopy extending from the front out over the pavement. This was added by the Brewer/owner Brickwood & Co. in 1910. A large girder that runs along the front of the building supporting the canopy bears the maker’s name ‘Tredgold’ of Portsmouth.
On 20th April 1983 English Heritage (now Historic England) listed the Royal Arms public house as Grade II with the following description:
Late C19. Two-storeys, 3 windows. Upper floor in painted brickwork, sash windows. Main feature is a ground floor cast iron portico, projecting over the pavement across the whole of the frontage, 22.214.171.124 thin columns, glazed roof and frieze.
Listing NGR: SZ6131799760
The previous owner of the public house took out the section of stained glass that bore the name of the brewer and replaced it with a new section promoting their business name. This was not permitted under the rules for Listed Buildings and they were told to put back the original. Sadly they appeared to have lost the original and so they put back a newly fabricated section. However they were not correctly advised by a local ‘beer enthusiast’ who told them that the original was ‘Brickwoods’ when historic evidence shows that it was ‘Brickwood’
In 2010 an application for the conversion of this listed building into two flats on the first floor, and a retail shop on the ground floor, was granted permission by Gosport Borough Councii. The application confirmed that the exterior of the building, including the canopy, was to be restored and some interior historic features were to be retained. Sadly this has not happened and many Gosport residents have expressed their concern that bits of the canopy are now in a dangerous state of decay with stained glass sections buckling and glass falling out on a regular basis. Part of the building is now used as a care home for adults with learning difficulties. Gosport Council Conservation Officer has constantly reminded the owners of their responsibility in maintaining the canopy as part of a Listed Building but they have so far failed to respond.
The Historic England regulations for Listed Building states: Listing is not a preservation order, preventing change. It does not freeze a building in time, it simply means that listed building consent must be applied for in order to make any changes to that building which might affect its special interest.
Canopy to be restored:
In 2020 Gosport Borough Council announced that the canopy would be restored as part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone. The front of the building will be used for communiotyt events. Funding for the High Street scheme is expected to be £1.78 million over four years, starting in April as part of a wider £3.2 million programme.