Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Th'Owd Tithe Barn, Church Street, Garstang

Looking at Th’Owd Tithe Barn two things are immediately clear; firstly it is a very old building and second it clearly was not built as a pub.
Then again, I suppose those more perceptive than myself may have guessed that from the name, before they even arrived at the pub.
I had in my head it may have been some sort of early prototype for a city centre regeneration project featuring flagship stores and cinemas.
But in fact it is an old barn dating back to 1710 which was used for the storage of corn and only converted into a pub in 1973.
When you enter its agricultural heritage is made abundantly clear with a huge range of old farming equipment clamped to the walls.
Firmly fixed though they all undoubtedly are, there are some angry looking saw-type blades placed high above our heads, which would make cracking props in some sort of earthquake action or horror film, as they come crashing to the ground decapitating unsuspecting regulars.
“Cracking pint of Lancaster Bomber this”, regular Chris would say to his wife Regular Abi, as she begins to lift her glass to her mouth.
Pausing for a moment she replies; “Well you know me Regular Chris, I’m more of a….” and splat, she is skewered straight down the middle before she had the chance to voice her approval for one of the pub’s other real ales.
Being a former barn the roof is extremely high, giving it an airy feel and while the designers have gone to town on the agricultural theme, it stops it appearing vacuous.
The windows are also very small which stops much natural light getting in but with candles on every table and large open fires, a virtue is made of the lack of light, to create a cosy atmosphere.
I am a huge fan of a good beer garden and / or a cracking view and on this front Th’Owd Tithe Barn, set right on the bank of the Lancaster Canal, is hard to beat.
At the front of the pub facing the canal are rows of benches on a patio which sits directly next to the water.
With canal boats steadily easing into and out of moorings while ducks wander carefree on the bank, as others which were not so lucky are brought out on plates to hungry diners, makes the perfect setting for a relaxing afternoon pint.
On this occasion, we decided to sit inside and have a Sunday lunch which was tasty and plentiful but as soon as the sun comes back, I will be back down for a tranquil waterside pint.

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