Old Queens Head: Brewery seeks new landlord for one of Sheffield’s oldest pubs - with plans for big investment

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One of Sheffield’s most iconic buildings is searching for new management

One of Sheffield’s oldest pubs is looking for new management - just seven months after its current landlord took up the role.

The Old Queens Head, on Pond Hill, in Sheffield City Centre, is believed to date back to 1475, and is currently controlled by Thwaites Brewery.

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The Grade II listed building has narrowly avoided the wrecking ball over its 500 years, despite the land around it being redeveloped several times. As Sheffield’s oldest surviving domestic building in the city, the pressure is on Thwaites to maintain such a historic building.

Thwaites Brewery is searching for new management for The Old Queens Head in SheffieldThwaites Brewery is searching for new management for The Old Queens Head in Sheffield
Thwaites Brewery is searching for new management for The Old Queens Head in Sheffield | National World

An advertisement on Thwaites’ website is currently showing a vacancy at the pub for a five-year lease, and states the company will be carrying out a “full refurbishment of the property, which will include improvements to the trade area, the bar, the function room and the toilets”.

The pub is described as having “a very welcoming feel, atypical for a city centre pub”. Its demographic of customers are reported to be those that work in the city or passing trade, and have an “average to very high level of affluence”. 

It states that customers are seeking a venue that has a “great cocktail menu, craft beers and healthier food options”.

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Lisa Yates and chef Ryan Orton took over at the Pond Hill pub in October 2023.Lisa Yates and chef Ryan Orton took over at the Pond Hill pub in October 2023.
Lisa Yates and chef Ryan Orton took over at the Pond Hill pub in October 2023. | National World, Dean Atkins

The Star spoke to the current landlord, Lisa Yates, in November last year when she came out of semi-retirement to take over the pub. She worked with the head chef Ryan Orton to create a new food menu with classic pub grub, and Lisa had made plans to bring new entertainment to the venue including open mic nights and live music.

In August 2023, Sheffield City Council conditionally granted plans by Thwaites to renovate the venue, providing the character and original features of the building were preserved. 

Plans included repairs and a long list of new things including bathrooms, refreshed bar tops, decorations, furniture, dartboard, flooring, large TVs, music and speaker system, bank shot shuffle-board table and general facelift.

The Old Queens Head pub, on Pond Hill, Sheffield, in August 1978The Old Queens Head pub, on Pond Hill, Sheffield, in August 1978
The Old Queens Head pub, on Pond Hill, Sheffield, in August 1978 | Sheffield Newspapers

However, no work has yet been undertaken.

The Old Queens Head is rumoured to be one of the most haunted buildings in Sheffield. Its most famous former inhabitant is Mary Queen of Scots, who was held captive in Sheffield for 14 years before her execution.

To find out more, please visit: https://www.runathwaitespub.co.uk/blog/property/old-queens-head/

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