Friday, 27 July 2012
Bibendum, formerly the New Inn, Eastbourne
With their pilasters and scrolled pediments, the four ex-entrances in this frontage and the door to the still-in-use corner vestibule are framed by classical motifs; but the inscriptions on the entablatures naming the rooms they once gave access to are decidedly art-nouveau in style as is the coloured glass design of delicate tracery in the arched windows. I would guess that this frontage was fitted in the fin de siècle of pub building, c. 1898-1900.
In my Blog post of 12th August 2011, I used the example of the Dorset, Brighton, to show how late-Victorian pubs were once divided into rooms that reflected class and status divisions of the time. The interior of Bibendum is now completely opened up with scant surviving fittings, but moving from the hotel lobby clockwise into South Street, we can tell from the entrances and extant etched window glass that it was once compartmentalised by screens into Saloon Bar, Public Bar, Jug Department and a Private Bar.