As tends to happen every few years, the Bear & Staff is currently undergoing a comprehensive refurbishment. The owners (Greene King) applied for Tree Works Consent, but have not as yet submitted a planning application in respect of changes to the building or its signage. The City Council granted permission for the felling of the 5 Leylandii trees on Gateacre Brow, at the corner of the pub car park - subject to them being replaced by a single 'small-leaved lime' (Tilia cordata).

The removal of the conifers has revealed, for the first time in many years, the full extent of the 'flagstone fence' which separates the car park from the house (formerly a shop) at 10 Gateacre Brow. This feature - a boundary wall consisting of large stone slabs, standing vertically and linked by metal ties - was very characteristic of the Woolton/Gateacre area, owing to the proximity of sandstone quarries, but in most other parts of the country it would have been prohibitively expensive.

We await the outcome of the refurbishment. Last time, the owners had to re-do some of the work - repainting the gable wall and replacing the new (and overlarge) pole-mounted sign - because both we and the City Council's planners felt that it had harmed the character of the Gateacre Village Conservation Area.

Above: Photographs of the Leylandii tree stumps and the 'flagstone fence',
Gateacre Brow, January 2020

© Mike Chitty, The Gateacre Society

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