Developers Forced to Rebuild Historic English Pub

Good news for the Punch Bowl Inn

Hurst Green
The Hurst Green rail stop.
Jay Shaw Baker/NurPhoto via Getty Images

For every iconic bar that’s stood the test of time and served pints to generations of drinkers, there are many others that have been shuttered and vanished from the maps. Every once in a while, though, that familiar cycle takes an unexpected turn — and you get something akin to what’s currently taking place in the English village of Hurst Green.

Located north of Blackburn and just south of the Forest of Bowland, Hurst Green was home to the Punch Bowl Inn, an institution that had been occupied the same space for hundreds of years. Then, as The Washington Post explains, disaster struck — the pub was demolished by developers in 2021.

As the Post‘s reporting reveals, however, the story didn’t end there. Instead, the local authorities — in this case, the Ribble Valley borough council — filed a lawsuit arguing that the pub was a historic structure and was therefore protected. This month, the case was resolved, with the judge in the case decreeing that the pub must be rebuilt by the very people who demolished it.

There’s one more twist in the ruling, the Post reports: the developers will need to use the original materials whenever possible. A spokesperson for the government agency Historic England told the Post that “[i]t’s encouraging when heritage crime, like the demolition of the Punch Bowl Inn, is taken seriously.” We’ll see if this sets a precedent for other at-risk spaces.


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