Malt Shovel (Barkby)

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Malt Shovel, 27 Main Street, Barkby, Leicestershire

The Malt Shovel was one of the last pubs in the county to brew its own beer. Parts of the building are thought to date back at least 700 years. In 1271, Merton College, Oxford, bought the property from Robert de Percy and the college owned it until 1963, when they sold it to the landlord.

It was kept by William John Charlesworth in 1855, who was shown as an innkeeper, but with no direct reference to brewing. In 1894, John Carnall, the victualler, was shown in capital letters in the directories. In 1904 he was identified as the brewer of the beer retailed.

The pub featured in an article in the Leicester Evening Mail in 1955, which described how Harry Oswin was still undertaking a brew every three weeks. The last brew was in December 1956.

The history of the village, published for the 1974 exhibition, described how some of the utensils were still intact, with the masher flails and ladles in the old tap room. However, the 300 gallon copper was being used for flower displays in the foyer of the Dorchester Hotel in London. The pub is now a free house, which features in CAMRA guides.