A WELL-known Oxford pub will be transformed into a hotel.

The Eagle and Child pub in St Giles is owned by St John’s College, which was granted planning permission to build a new extension on the back end of the pub and carry out major renovation works inside the building, as well as two neighbouring shops.

The application to renovate the three buildings, 49-51 St Giles, was unanimously approved by Oxford city councillors at the west area planning committee meeting on Tuesday.

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A linked application for consent to work on the grade-II listed building was also unanimously approved.

Committee chair Colin Cook said: “This is a good scheme. I think it is fantastic what they have sorted out.”

Oxford Mail:

A drawing of how the back end of the building currently looks. Picture: Oxford City Council.

The college will demolish part of the ground floor and first floor rear extensions of the Eagle and Child pub in St Giles.

St John’s will also change the use of the ground floor and first floor of 50 St Giles from a cafe to hotel reception and accommodation, convert the upper floors at 49-51 St Giles for use as hotel accommodation, and build a single storey rear extension and a new entrance off Wellington Place, a lane north of the pub.

The application was called in for extra scrutiny by city councillors because of concerns about the impact on the historic buildings and streetscape in St Giles, and the potential impact on trees in the adjoining street at Wellington Place.

Oxford Mail:

A drawing of how the back end of the building will look when it is rebuilt. Picture: Oxford City Council.

During the meeting, the committee heard the college had made sure to respect the archaeological heritage of the pub.

A wall which runs along one side of the back yard of the pub follows the line of a medieval boundary known as a burgage plot.

This medieval border will be followed by a new wall built through the centre of the extension to the building, separating two dining areas of the hotel’s restaurant.

The new extension will be raised up on a platform to keep it on the same level as other rooms in the pub.

Oxford Mail:

The pub and the two neighbouring buildings which will be transformed into a hotel.

Councillor Michael Gotch said the architects who designed the new back end of the building should be congratulated.

Mr Gotch said: “The back of this building is a right mish-mash and it is going to be vastly improved.

“I think the end result is going to be that a listed and important building and burgages are going to be taken onwards.”

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Concerns were also raised about preserving trees on Wellington Place, a lane which runs to the north of the Eagle and Child.

A council officer told the committee there were plans to maintain a 200 year old yew tree on the edge of the pub garden, but other trees would be removed.

Oxford Mail:

JRR Tolkien.

The pub is renowned for its association with fantasy authors JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis, who met there as part of a writers’ group called The Inklings.

A public house since 1650, The Eagle and Child takes its name from the crest of the Earls of Derby.