• Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Enjoying a pint at the Eagle and Child – when will it happen again?


Sep 25, 2022

Real ale drinkers in Oxford expressed fears that the Eagle and Child was being left to rot.

But following CAMRA's concern, St John's College, which owns the pub linked to fantasy writers JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, has tried to reassure people that work is being done.

The pub closed in 2020 and has not reopened since.

Read again: The Eagle and Child has been left to rot

The poor state of the building at that time led to fears that it may never reopen as a pub or as a pub/boutique hotel, as the college had planned.

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

St John’s principal bursar Zoe Hancock told BBC Radio Oxford that there was “definitely a possibility” that the Eagle and Child could reopen as a refurbished pub rather than the more ambitious scheme of converting the rooms above it into a small hotel.

She said: "We realise it's a really important place and that it does need to reopen."

Read more: Eagle and Child could reopen

The bursar added: "We think the hotel is an excellent idea, it's absolutely right for Oxford… We're now faced with a cost of living crisis and we're just trying to tease out whether we should keep going with that idea… or just look at a pub operator."

Oxford Mail: Photo: Oxford Mail Photo: Oxford Mail

Ms Hancock revealed that in January St John’s had reached an agreement with another company for the pub/hotel scheme, but that company had recently withdrawn leaving it “back to square one”.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF