Iconic, derelict Lancaster pub to be given new lease of life

Inside the Friary
Inside the Friary

A derelic Lancaster pub is to undergo a major programme of repairs as part of plans to re-open it once again as a pub and restaurant.

A new planning application reveals that The Friary, in St Leonardgate, which has been closed since 2014, is to be turned back into a public house once repairs have been made.

Inside The Friary in Lancaster

Inside The Friary in Lancaster

The Grade II Listed building, originally the Centenary Church, is now owned by City Porfolio, which is a subsidiary of Lancaster’s Cityblock Group.

Company boss Trevor Bargh said: “The Listed Building application has just gone in, and then we’ll see what happens with that and then crack on.

“The plans are to fully restore the building. We think it could look exceptional.

“It will have a food and beer theme and we have several ideas, but ultimately that’s down to the operator.

The Friary pub in Lancaster

The Friary pub in Lancaster

“It’s a mess, and we’ve already started clearing it out.”

The planning application, drawn up by Lancaster’s Harrison Pitt Architects, states: “The proposals for 116 St Leonard’s Gate seek to bring the heritage asset back into use as a public house.

“The external character of the building is to be enhanced on a exposed corner in the Lancaster Conservation Area.

“The Church is an important corner building in defining the edge of the Canal Quarter and a prominent building in the streetscape of the city of Lancaster. “The building is located within the ‘Canal Corridor North’ Character Area of the Lancaster Conservation Area.

The Friary in Lancaster

The Friary in Lancaster

“The proposed changes will allow for the building to be once again safely occupied and to be an asset to the city. The loss of a number of windows is necessary to allow for the safe and habitable occupation of the building and for the landlord to attract a reputable tenant to the building to secure its future. Therefore the small loss of this element of the fabric is minor in comparison with the public benefit of having a great building back in use and positively contributing to the streetscape.”

The initial repair plans include repairs to the buildings spire and belfry, repairs to the roof including replacement slates and gutters, replacement of windows to Rosemary Lane elevation, repairs to stained glass windows, cleaning and repairing of stonework, repair and painting of all external metal fixtures, gates, external stairs and balustrades, replacement of cellar access hatch/access ramp, repairs to ceiling and tower void, internal repairs including replacement of floorboards to ground floor, removal of handrails and replace with timber balustrading, replacement and repair of timber wall and ceiling panelling, removal of all fixtures and fittings, replastering work and painting of walls and ceiling.

Inside The Friary Lancaster

Inside The Friary Lancaster