NEW owners are ringing the changes at an historic pub in the city centre.

Darren Young and Barney Reynolds took over at The King Charles House last month and have already been busy sprucing up the old black and white building.

And the pair, who have been running the Swan Inn at Hanley Swan for the past eight years, say there’s more to come.

READ MORE: Worcester's King Charles pub put up for sale by Craddocks Brewery boss

“It’s been great,” said Mr Young.

“We’ve been making lots of changes - introducing music, putting up lights, improving the food offering and we have big plans for the future.

“We want it to be more in the style of the Swan but still in keeping with the traditional real ale pub that it is.

Worcester News: King Charles pays a visit to The King CharlesKing Charles pays a visit to The King Charles

“The pies will stay but we will be expanding the menu.

"It has been limited simply because of the equipment that’s in place but we’re putting some major investment into the kitchen so we can start offering fish dishes, starters and desserts. All of that will help the pub grow.”

Mr Young said a small number of planks will be replaced by straighter boards of a similar age so dining tables will sit straight on the pub's famed uneven floor upstairs.

"We've already bought 450-year-old wood to do it," he said.

"If anything, this will add to the charm. All the character needs to remain." 

The New Street pub, which was built in 1577, was a hiding place for King Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

Dungeon at King Charles House

One of its quirkier features is an oubliette - a narrow dungeon with only one escape hatch.

“We’re going to have the oubliette glazed,” said Darren. “People know it’s here and this means they’ll be able to just come in and see it.”

The oubliette will be officially relaunched later this month by a historian dressed as King Charles II.

Worcester News: The oubliette at The King Charles HouseThe oubliette at The King Charles House

Darren said feedback from regulars has been “fabulous” and that the move away from being a Craddocks pub has gone down well with Worcester CAMRA members, who are moving their regular meetings to the King Charles.

“They’re loving the pub again,” he said.

READ MORE: For sale: House where King Charles II 'escaped the Battle of Worcester'

“We’re really proud to be here. We love it. It’s a genuinely stunning building and it’s a bit romantic really - it’s 450 years old. 

“We’ve signed a 16-year deal but we want to go beyond that, and in the next 12 months or so we’ll have the pub where we want it to be.”