The Spinners Arms Cummersdale LogoCummersdale,
Carlisle, Cumbria, CA2 6BD

Tel: 01228 532928

Four Legged Friends
Walking & Cycling

Opening hours:

Monday to Friday
6pm –12am
Saturday & Sunday
12pm – 12am

Food Served:

Monday to Friday
(excluding Tuesday)
6pm to 8pm
Saturday & Sunday
12pm - 3pm & 6pm - 8pm


The Spinners Arms Archit


The Spinners Arms was built in 1930 as part of the unique Carlisle State Management Scheme. It was designed by Harry Redfern, the scheme’s chief architect. Redfern was given carte blanche to design a number of public houses in the area.

The Carlisle State Management Scheme saw the UK Government take over and run the brewing, distribution and sale of liquor in the Carlisle area from 1916 to 1973. A munitions factory had been built in Gretna, employing over 25,000 people – most of whom had to live in Carlisle. The influx of workers living away from home and with a large disposable income meant a sharp increase in drunkenness and associated crime.  There were also Government concerns about people’s ability to work with hangovers and explosives! As many of the workers were Irish and there had been uprisings in Dublin, there were also concerns about rebellion spreading to Britain.
The Central Control Board took control of an area of 320 square miles initially for the duration of the war and 12 months after. They closed nearly 40% of public houses by 1917 and revoked all off-sales licences. All alcohol advertising was made illegal and the display of alcohol in windows was banned.

Public House managers effectively became civil servants. They were employed on a fixed salary, and were actively encouraged to sell food and soft drinks. Prices were fixed by the state, buying in rounds was banned as were chasers. Nobody under 18 could buy spirits and could only be served beer with food. Bowling greens were attached to some pubs to encourage recreation and games.

Beer was brewed by the local, government owned brewery and was brewed at a lower ABV.

This whole process proved extremely effective with convictions dropping from 953 to 80 in just two years. The system was prolonged until 1921 when it was then passed over to the State Management System under the Secretary of State for Home Affairs.  Certain restrictions were lifted and the government continued to operate this scheme until the late 60s when questions were asked about the profitability of the scheme. It was decided that it wasn’t making enough money and the scheme was privatised in the 70s.  The pubs were sold off to breweries and the Carlisle State Brewery was sold to Theakstons, who used it until they were bought out by Scottish & Newcastle Breweries, who closed the brewery down.


Harry Redfern

A central part of the scheme was the re-development and construction of a new type of public house. Redfern's remit was to re-design existing buildings or construct new ones that were light and airy, easy to supervise, comfortable and welcoming. Each public house was designed for food service and most had excellent recreational facilities. Redfern was solely responsible for all the architectural work, right down to the smallest details. As the scheme was operated as a Government department, he was not subjected to city ordinances and building restrictions.

The pubs he built were innovative and tasteful, built in an arts and crafts style, with these pubs rapidly becoming a template for architects following him.


The Spinners Arms is a small but decorative Harry Redfern pub. It’s been described as a ‘gentleman’s retreat’. Although, now altered to be a one room pub, it originally had three distinct rooms – a bar (men only!), a smoking room and a tea room or lounge (where 1d would be added onto the cost of your pint for table service!). The pub still has plenty of original features from mirrored alcoves to some of the original wood panelling, original doors to decorative guttering. Unfortunately, due to rising costs, no provision was made, when it was designed, for a bowling green.
The pub was built behind the original Spinners Arms, which was then demolished. The Spinners became a Grade II listed building in June 1973.

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