Shropshire Star

The 160-year-old riverside pub that's battling on after succession of tough challenges

As pubs continue to battle the cost of living crisis, the Shropshire Star continues its Love Your Local series which celebrates our local inns.

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The pub underwent a massive refurbishment when the new owners took over

It sits in an idyllic location on the banks of the River Severn and carries more than 160 years of service in the community.

Known as the Meadow for many years before a name change in 2019, the Water Rat is a pub of potential, friendly faces, good beer and warming meals.

Named because the new owners from the Ironbridge Pub Company were fans of Wind in the Willows, the pub has been a feature of the community in Ironbridge for decades and very popular with tourists and people travelling down the River Severn.

Landlord Lee Howard has been at the pub since the takeover and said that while locals still refer to it as the Meadow, the majority have slowly come around to the new name and enjoyed the refurbished interior of the pub.

Lee Howard said the pub would keep on providing the best product it could

He says: "There's still a few people who've come to us and said they preferred the old name, but they still love the pub and know that we don't have rats here, maybe a bit of the water that shows its face when the river flows which ticks off half of the name.

"They do come, as do a lot of people, because they know the food is good and they do appreciate the location the pub's in, plus when the new owners took over, they invested money as they felt it needed a refresh and gave it a modern update."