Work to convert a former Sheffield pub with links to the Civil War into a drive-thru cafe has begun.
Carbrook Hall in Attercliffe dates back to the 12th century and is where Parliamentarians met before the siege of Sheffield Castle in 1644. It is also reputed to be one of Yorkshire’s most-haunted places.
Planning permission was granted in November to convert the Grade II*-listed building, the oldest surviving part of which is believed to have been built in around 1620, into a drive-thru Starbucks – despite objections from some heritage campaigners.
Work to restore the most historic parts of the building, on Attercliffe Common, close to Valley Centertainment, and convert the site for use as a cafe began last week.
Owner Sean Fogg, of West Street Leisure, said he was delighted the restoration was underway as it meant members of the public would soon be able to appreciate the ‘true majesty’ of one of the city’s oldest buildings.
He added that he hopes to hand over the premises to Starbucks in late April or early March and the cafe is scheduled to open in early summer.
“This building's steeped in history and this work means members of the public will once again be able to see it in all its glory and appreciate its true majesty,” he said.
“We’re breathing new life into a building which hadn’t been looked after properly for the last 40 years and preserving this important part of Sheffield’s story for generations to come.”
Mr Fogg said £445,000 was being spent on restoration and preservation alone, not including the cost of modifications to convert the premises into a cafe.
He said that included repairs to the roof - which contains beams salvaged from ships, making it the oldest surviving part of the building – and work to restore the intricately-carved oak panelling.
The grand Oak Room downstairs, which Mr Fogg said would be decorated with artefacts alluding to the building's impressive history, will be part of the cafe.
The old bedroom of former owner Colonel John Bright, who was a loyal servant to Oliver Cromwell, will also be open to the public, who will be able to see its original wood panelling for the first time in many years.
Carbrook Hall, which is listed by Sheffield Council as a protected ‘asset of community value’, closed as a pub in 2017 when it was bought by West Street Leisure.
A number of break-ins followed and in April last year it was damaged in arson attack, though the most historic parts luckily survived largely unscathed.
The Starbucks will have 60 seats and will create 15 full-time and 20 part-time jobs, according to the planning application.
It will also be used as a training facility by the company, and Mr Fogg said it would become the chain's ‘flagship’ store in the region.