I don’t come across that many new unspoilt gems on my travels; if they’re that unchanged they’ve normally been stuck on an Historic Inventory or Grand CAMRA Tour before.

The Anchor in Anchor in Salop was my last discovery that would have graced Mr Coe’s list, and the Lion O’Morfe also comes from our most beguiling of counties.

Spot the Lion

The Lion is in Upper Farmcote, which I suspect even Duncan was surprised to see appear in the Beer Guide last September. Very few Guide entries in the farmlands and bucolic villages east of Bridgnorth, right the way up to Albrighton and David Austin’s roses.

Very few people too; I could have stood in the middle of the road for 20 minutes without getting run over (not advised).

Watch out for tractors
Fields – very exciting heh ?

The OS extract makes a vain attempt to grab our attention with names like Burf Castle, Gags Rock, and the hilarious “Barnsley”, but mainly it’s Morfes and Farms.


Not as hilly as it looks, and hardly the sort of place to attract you out from Bridgnorth, which makes the fact it’s “bustling” (per What Pub) at 3pm in midweek worthy of note.


Comparable isolated pubs in farming areas that spring to mind are the Cross Keys in Selattyn, which some of you will know, and the Red Lion in Breachwood Green, which you won’t.

Unlike the Cross Keys, the Lion appears to be open all day, which these days takes you aback a little.

And no-one is here eating anything other than cheese and onion rolls.

A picture of contentment
Bass mirror alert
Proper bench seating

A dozen folk, by no means all older than me, spread over two rooms and seemingly settled in for the duration.  I picked the small table in the corner of the chatty room, and immediately knock over a footstool.  Footstools make few appearances in my Ember Inn reports.

I’ll be blunt; the banter was a bit shocking by Cambridge standards. “Male privilege doesn’t exist.  Prove me wrong” being one gem that would have stirred Mrs RM into action.

The beer range isn’t a shock though.

Beers you’ve heard of

Reminding us how dangerously close we are to the Welsh border, they also have Worthington Whoosh.

And a beer you rarely see

What else ?

Top reading matter, a change from Shropshire Life anyway.

What no Ale Cry ?

Crockery that Stoke would be proud of.


And outside toilets (sadly, there’s inside ones too).  Enjoy this gem while you can.



  1. “Spot the Lion”

    Aha! Slightly southeast of Ironbridg(e)north. 🙂

    “I could have stood in the middle of the road for 20 minutes without getting run over”

    There are places in northern BC (British Columbia) where you could probably do that for 20 days.

    “Fields – very exciting heh ?”

    It’s ‘eh’, not ‘heh’. Heh means chuckle; ‘eh’ is Canadian for the British ‘what’. 😉

    “but mainly it’s Morfes and Farms.”

    I give up. How can I top that on the OS?

    “Bass mirror alert”

    And you didn’t mention the Guinness or Newcastle Brown mirrors… tsk, tsk. 🙂

    “Beers you’ve heard of”

    Did you have the Enfield bee thingy again?

    “What no Ale Cry ?”

    Of course, in that photo, I read “The Best of the Big Guns” as “The Best of the Bigguns” (rolls eyes).

    “And outside toilets ”

    From that photo I’m assuming you “do # 2” in the back of the pickup truck so they can use it for fertilizer? 😉



      1. “after an enjoyable, but rather hectic day out.”

        Yep. That was a bit of leg pulling on my part. 🙂


    1. Show-off ! I bet it gets more tradesmen than ever now the Offley pubs are gastro, but the Red Lion was very farmer when I lived in Hitchin in the ’90s.

      It also served the best Greene King IPA anywhere in the Beer Guide.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t realise Worthingtons was still a cask beer. Saw it a lot in keg form in Stoke in the early 90’s when I was a student at the Poly there, but didn’t drink it as the city’s pubs had plenty of cask beers to choose from (Banks’s, Bass, Pedi).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “I see that it’s now contract-brewed by Brains in Cardiff.”

        I didn’t think there were any brains in Cardiff. (ducks runs away!) 😉


    1. I think the Red Lion, Romping Cat, at Dayhills still has Worthington Cask.
      Also Worthington Cask was recently a guest beer, yes a guest beer, in Stafford’s Bird in Hand, one of thirty Black Country Ales pubs.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I spent quite a while looking at the OS map you included -no idea where it was but I love poring over these things ! We are off to Shropshire in May -never been to that area,but given the amount of pubs in Shrewsbury I suspect that we will not get deep into the lovely countryside


      1. But Shropshire also has some beautiful scenery and some of the nicest small towns in Britain. Probably, all things considered, my favourite county.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for taking that photo of all the tractor-related reading material– says so much about what part of the country you were in. Love that the tractor magazine is crowing about being the “original and still the best.” Don’t fall for the glitz and glitter of all those new copy-cat tractor magazines!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, this one certainly didn’t disappoint, although it should be pointed out that on the left-hand side there is an extensive dining area and conservatory, so it’s not just an unspoilt rural classic. Had some superb Enville Ale which really did remind me why cask at its best is so much worth drinking (see latest blogpost). No Worthington on my visit.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Additional “separate rooms that don’t spoil the character” reminds me of the late Mabel Mudge’s Drewe Arms at Drewstainton.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is all getting very confusing.
        I expect separate rooms if I’m in a hotel, especially in Morcambe, but not if I’m in a Youth Hostel.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s