A FAMOUS Oxford pub where Tolkien used to drink wants to sell booze out of mini bars in planned new hotel rooms.

The Eagle and Child on St Giles is currently undergoing renovation work so it can be used as a hotel as well as a pub.

In November last year, Oxford City Council gave the owners of the building, St Johns College, permission to carry out the building work to put in hotel rooms.

Now an application for a new alcohol license has been submitted to the council by Young and Co, the brewery which will manage the pub when it reopens.

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The licensing application asks for longer hours to sell alcohol during the day, but would see last orders be brought forward by half an hour.

Under the old licence, the Eagle and Child could sell alcohol between 10am and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays, with a midnight finish on Sundays.

The new licence would allow Youngs to sell alcohol between 7am and midnight Monday to Saturday and 7am and 11pm on Sunday.

The company is also looking for permission to sell alcohol from mini bars in the planned hotel rooms at all hours of the day.

Whereas pubs usually choose to renew their licence, Youngs is seeking a new licence because it is taking over management of the pub from a different company, Nicholsons Pubs.

Young and Co would like the new licence to be in place by April 29, though due to the coronavirus lockdown it is unknown whether the pub and hotel will be able to reopen by then.

The licence application also said that 'Young’s propose to develop and refurbish and are fully aware of the pub’s rich cultural and literary heritage.'

The planning application, agreed in November, would see the downstairs of the pub knocked through to next door, a former cafe called Green's, to make way for more seating.

Oxford Mail:

JRR Tolkien used to frequent the Eagle and Child

There are also plans to spruce up the existing downstairs seating area, as well as the kitchen and rebuild an extension to the back of the pub.

Elements of the design take into account the building's archaeological heritage.

It lies on the boundary between two medieval burgage plots: the middle ages equivalent of garden boundaries allotted to townspeople by feudal lords.

The first and second floors of the Eagle and Child would be used as hotel accommodation.

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According to the licence application, planning permission is currently on hold as a section 106 agreement has not yet been fulfilled, despite it having been agreed in principle last November.

This contract between the developer and the city council would see St John's College pay for new public-use bicycle racks on St Giles.

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.

No-one from the pub was available to speak about the plans due to the coronavirus pandemic.