It’s hard to believe it today, but in February 1857, just across the main (but pretty quiet) road from the Lundhill Tavern, was the scene of one of Britain’s biggest mining disasters.
In seconds, 189 lives were lost.
Historians believe the Tavern was originally the pit’s offices and counting house. It has been a public house for many, many decades.
There was a big vase of cheery flowers (real ones) on the bar on a very grey day. And a big smile from the young lady behind it. It is upsy-downsy, all-over-the-placey, with stairs, corners, nooks and crannies, and a big log fire. Some of the floors are stone-flagged, and the menus are compact, sensible and very fairly priced.
And now we come to the chief reason for wanting to return to this unpretentious but hugely welcoming establishment. I hereby salute the Tavern’s absolutely superb, five star, incomparable, delicious and yes, enormous, roast beef baguette, made moist with gooey gravy and rendered not so much a sandwich as an entire meal. With chips – lovely, crisp, piping hot chips, fresh from the kitchens.
There was enough tender meat to feed a ravenous couple….and my companion’s huge ham sandwich had big, succulent chunks of home-cooked filling, again with those chips to die for. We were distracted by other dishes going past, with Yorkshire puddings the size of flying saucers on the plates.
There’s a good range of drinks, and the ales are constantly changing – among them Bombardier and Timothy Taylors, but the pint that went with that beef was a perfectly maintained Old Speckled Hen. There may be tragedy in the history of the Tavern, but there is certainly triumph today.
The Lundhill Tavern, Beech House Road, Hemingfield, Barnsley S73 0PF. Tel: 01226 341045.