A HISTORIC city centre pub is to close for months as an Oxford college builds new student rooms.

Rooms for undergraduates above the former coaching inn are badly in need of an upgrade and Lincoln College began a two-year building project in January.

While the work takes place, The Mitre is to close, but is also set to be refurbished.

Oxford Mail:

Deputy manager Hakeem Harris said it would close on Saturday, June 1, and could remain shut for nine months.

He said: “There are about 15 staff and they are being given the opportunity by Marstons to work at another pub or they can take redundancy - I’ve decided I’m going to work somewhere else.

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“It’s a really big building project for the college and once the pub shuts, refurbishment inside is expected to start but I don’t have details of how it will change.”

Customers at The Mitre seemed unaware yesterday that the pub was about to close.

Oxford Mail:

One construction worker at the site said the project involved 64 student rooms.

He went on: “Some of the rooms are so small, they really need updating and some of them will now have ensuite bathrooms.

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One construction worker at the site said: “Some of the student rooms are so small - they really need updating and some of them will now have ensuite bathrooms.

Oxford Mail:

“The roof is also being replaced – everything is being done very carefully as the building is listed.

“It’s a big project lasting a couple of years – I expect it’s costing millions.”

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The college said on the lincolncampaign.com website: “The buildings we call the Mitre, together with Staircase 16, form part of an historic development belonging to Lincoln, at the heart of which is the Mitre Inn.

Oxford Mail:

“Elements of the buildings, notably a ribbed vault, date back to the 13th century.

“The majority of rooms which are used for student accommodation are from a later period, but a good number of these are in 17th and 18th century parts of the building.

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“While the Mitre has belonged to the college for centuries, it was first used as student accommodation in the late 1960s.

“The rabbit warren layout and uneven floor levels are familiar to many generations of Lincoln undergraduates, as it has most commonly been used to house second years since then.

Oxford Mail:

“The Mitre rooms were badly in need of updating, and in the summer of 2018 the college began a major redevelopment of the site.”

The present Mitre Inn dates back to about 1630, but there has been an inn on the site since about 1300.

It has always belonged to Lincoln College, and its name is understood to have derived from the college coat of arms, which depicts the mitre of the Bishop of Lincoln.

Oxford Mail:

In the past the Grade II listed pub was an important coaching inn, and as early as 1671 there were coaches running between London and The Mitre three days a week.

Lincoln College has been asked for a comment.