A RARE and historic pub interior is feared to have been lost in refurbishment works pub campaigners have called “tragic”.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) said the 1950s Cotswold lounge in the Fairview Inn appears to have been taken out by new owners.

The pub in Glebelands on the Lye Valley estate was put up for sale by Enterprise Inns last year.

A community group had hoped to buy it, but could not raise the £385,000 it needed Instead it was sold to as yet unknown buyers.

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The pub, which opened in 1959, had been listed by CAMRA as a bar of national importance due to the wood-panelled room.

But Chris Witt, from CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group, said he saw evidence the lounge had been stripped out in a visit to the pub in August.

He said: “All the panelling on the left-hand side of the bar had been torn out and broken up in a skip outside.

“At that stage all that was left was the semi-circular panelled bar and some panelling to the right and a short section to the left of the bar.”

Tony Goulding, pubs officer for Oxford Camra, said the interior was a symbol of the traditional pub.

He said: “It would not win any awards but it was intact for 55 years.

“It is the way we have lost it which is really galling.”

Estate resident Darren Grant, who was involved in the community bid to buy the pub, said he would rather keep the pub than the 1950s interior.

He told the Oxford Mail: “It would be nice to see the bar saved but my overriding concern is that it remains as a public resource even if that means modernising the place.”

Camra spokesman Paul Ainsworth added: “The Cotswold Lounge in the Fairview was an incredibly rare intact survival of an early post-war lounge bar.

“As such it had earned a place as one of only 270 entries on CAMRA’s national inventory of historic pub interiors, which records the most precious unspoilt examples of the country’s pub heritage. The loss is nothing short of tragic.”

Enterprise Inns refused to comment.

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