When you are in the pub, do you ever take any notice of the ceiling ? No I thought not. Years ago all that one found on the ceiling of a pub was brown nicotine staining from years of constant tobacco abuse, so I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. But if you look up, sometime you are in for a real treat.
I must admit that my interest in pub ceilings actually started across the border in Manchester when I was sitting in the Crown & Kettle. Their ceiling was painted and interesting but because of a recent fire was covered with a net to prevent bits of it falling in customers beer. However, one room did have the original and very good it was too, it was just a bit awkward to see properly without laying on the floor which I think could be frowned upon.
I have been to several other places with interesting ceilings too, but in the north east they have become the rule rather than the exception. In Newcastle, The Bodega has a wonderful glass domed ceiling in the rear bar, worth visiting the pub just to see that. Likewise in the Union Rooms, but that is three storeys up. But that has set me off walking into a pub looking at the roof before I look at the bar, and it gets me some strange looks at times.
A visit to Edinburgh reinforced my enthusiasm. Almost every pub I visited, in fact since I only visited three, it was every pub I visited, had a fascinating ceiling. I know the ones I called in were historic but although I expected the wonderful wooden bars, and superb glasswork, I did not realise the work that had gone into the ornate ceilings. I wish I had taken photos but it was not until I reached 'The Guildford' how exceptional they were. The other two being The Abbotsford and The Cafe Royal if you want to check them out.
So, if you are out and about, or even in your local, take a look upwards, you may be surprised at what you've been missing.