REAL ale fans with a thirst for history can enjoy a pint amid historical surroundings at a number of traditional Black Country pubs.

According to CAMRA’s What Pub guide, the Dudley borough area is home to a number of traditional boozers serving real ale and boasting a historic pub interior considered of national historic significance or interest.

Topping the list is the legendary Old Swan (also known as Ma Pardoes) in Halesowen Road in Netherton – home of the Olde Swan Brewery.

Halesowen News: The Old Swan (Ma Pardoes), NethertonThe Old Swan (Ma Pardoes), Netherton (Image: Google Street View)

The pub originally dates from 1835, but was rebuilt in 1863. It is affectionately known as Ma Pardoe’s after long-serving teetotal landlady, Doris Pardoe, who kept the pub with her husband, Frederick, from 1932 until 1984. The original part of the pub, including the iconic front bar with its enamel panelled ceiling and stove, is largely unspoilt. There is a small micro-brewery at the rear. It regularly features in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and is Grade II listed.

Also on the list:

The Britannia, Kent Street, Upper Gornal

Halesowen News: The Britannia, Upper GornalThe Britannia, Upper Gornal (Image: Google Street View)

The pub is one of the oldest in Upper Gornal, a former home-brew house dating from 1780. In 1866, it passed to the Perry family, who were also butchers, and by 1937, Sarah Louise Perry was one of the few female brewers and butchers in the country. She kept the pub until 1991, when it was known as Sally’s or Old Sal’s. The pub retains several original features, including handpulls on the wall of Sally’s Room at the rear, a mirrored bar back, wooden panelling and etched windows dating from the 1920s. It was acquired by Batham’s in 1997.

Beacon Hotel, Bilston Street, Sedgley

Halesowen News: The Beacon Hotel, SedgleyThe Beacon Hotel, Sedgley (Image: Google Street View)

Dating from around 1852, it was acquired by Sarah Hughes in 1921 and has always been a home-brew pub. Sarah perfected her beer recipes here over the years, and the brewery started brewing again in 1984 with John Hughes, Sarah’s grandson, brewing the beer. It regularly features in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide and is also Grade II listed.

Waggon & Horses, Church Street, Oldbury

Halesowen News: Waggon & Horses, OldburyWaggon & Horses, Oldbury (Image: Google Street View)

The oldest surviving pub in Oldbury, originally dating from 1790. In 1894, it was acquired by Holt’s Brewery of Birmingham, who replaced it with a purpose-built pub to the designs of local architects, Wood & Kendrick, in typical red brick and terracotta style, with a polygonal turret and Holt’s Red Squirrel emblem. Many original features remain, including wall tiles, copper-clad ceiling (now painted over), bench seating, bell pushes and etched windows. It’s also a Grade II listed building.

Vine, Delph Road, Brierley Hill (also known as Bull & Bladder)

Halesowen News: The Vine (Bull & Bladder) in Brierley HillThe Vine (Bull & Bladder) in Brierley Hill (Image: Google Street View)

The Vine originally dates from 1836 when its first licensees were the Attwood family. In 1905, the pub was acquired by Daniel Batham who completely rebuilt the premises in 1911, due to mining subsidence. He also constructed a purpose-built model tower brewery behind the pub, which remains the cornerstone of Batham’s brewing enterprise. The pub is unspoilt, with separate rooms and a cosy bar. Over the years, it has been kept by several members of the Batham family. It regularly gains local CAMRA awards and inclusion in the national Good Beer Guide.

Mitre, Lower High Street, Stourbridge

Halesowen News: The Mitre, StourbridgeThe Mitre, Stourbridge (Image: Google Street View)

The Mitre is one of the oldest pubs in Stourbridge, starting life as the Mitre Hotel in the late 1700s, when it was a coaching inn. However, the original building was demolished in 1934 to widen Crown Lane, and rebuilt by local architect, Percy Clarke, on the opposite side of the road.  It’s thought he incorporated some features from the original building, including stained glass windows and wooden panels. In 1975, it was kept by John Knight, who made the pub popular for its musical talent, including Stourbridge bands, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Wonder Stuff and Ned’s Atomic Dustbin during the 1990s. It still offers live music and is included in nominations for formal protection submitted by the West Midlands Combined Authority/CAMRA.

Seven Stars, Brook Road, Oldswinford, Stourbridge

Halesowen News: The Seven StarsThe Seven Stars (Image: Google)

The Seven Stars originally dates from 1845, but was rebuilt as a flagship pub for Mitchells & Butlers in 1907. It retains many of its original features - including etched windows, ornate glazed tiles, bar counter and mirrored bar back, faithfully restored by Black Country Ales. In 1956, landlord Frederick Skinner established the Seven Stars Blues Club, which was the first venue that Robert Plant, then aged just 15, performed with the Delta Blues Band and Sounds of Blue. It’s won several local CAMRA awards and is also Grade II listed.

Duke William, Coventry Street, Stourbridge

Halesowen News: The Duke William in StourbridgeThe Duke William in Stourbridge (Image: Google Street View)

The pub originally dated from 1820, but was acquired by North Worcestershire Breweries, established just around the corner in Duke Street in 1886. They rebuilt it as a flagship taproom for their brewery in 1903, with terracotta and glazed brickwork. It retains many original features, including a curved bar, five-bay mirrored bar back, etched windows, wooden seating and an original Private Bar glass panel. It’s now owned by Dave Craddock, who established his micro-brewery behind the pub in 2011, and his beers are regularly on the handpumps. Although not statutorily listed as an historic building, it’s recognised in CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

Pub histories courtesy of author Steve James from his Tales from Black Country Taverns book and CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group.