Denmark Arms

Greater London East - East Ham

A historic pub interior of regional importance

Listed Status: II

381 Barking Road
East Ham
E6 1LA

Tel: (020) 8552 4194

Email: denmarkarms@anticlondon.com

Website https://denmarkarms.com

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Over the crossroads from the stunning town hall, this is a pub in two parts – a late 19th-century building on the corner and a major extension of 1903 up High Street North. The ground floor is now one large room wrapped around the servery (modern back fittings) but what makes it special are the ornate details, notably the lovely tiled frieze on the back wall of the older part of the pub with its plain green tiles and statuesque rose bushes. Above is a mottled alabaster band then a decorative frieze with tendrils swirling round stylised rosettes. In the new part (former saloon) the treatment is different with a ceiling divided into bold panels with deep cornices and a high-level frieze with figures. The columns in the two areas are also different – thin Corinthian ones in the older area, chunky Ionic ones in the newer.

If the pub is not too busy do ask to see the upper floor (now a function room). The front part was a restaurant and the back almost certainly a billiard room, and a very spectacular one at that with a fine skylight and a glazed-in servery with hatches. At the foot of the stair is a unique feature for a pub – a ticket booth-style shop for selling cigarettes and drink. This looks inter-war as do many of the features of the upper floor. There is a separate, tall entrance with staircase from High Street North over which is stone plaque "Denmark Arms Hotel Luncheons & Lounge".

A pub built in two parts – a late 19th-century building on the corner by Fredk Ashton (sourcs Pevsner London East, uncorrob) and a major extension of 1903 along High Street North. What makes this pub is special is the upper floor – ring ahead to arrange a visit at a quiet time – where the former billiard room has a stunning skylight, a screened servery, and walls lines with mirrors etc.

Downstairs what was the at least a separate public bar and saloon (note the wrought iron ‘Saloon’ above the entrance on High Street North) Above this entrance is a shield with ‘The Denmark Arms’ in stone relief with carved figures either side. The large almost an island bar counter looks to be from the inter-war period with its red melamine top and sitting on a plinth. The bar back, which faces three directions, looks a mixture of inter-war work and part modern with the middle section lost to tall fridges. There is a good corner vestibule with etched and frosted glass panels at the top.

On the left of the room is the staircase from the street to the first floor and on this encased area is a wide decorative frieze with tendrils swirling round stylised rosettes – recently painted cream (previously red). This frieze continues down the left hand wall and the dado here has plain green tiles and some with statuesque rose bushes in relief. Between the tiles and frieze is a mottled alabaster band. A widish gap leads to the rear area – the former saloon in the newer part of the pub. Here the ceiling is divided into bold panels with deep cornices and a high-level frieze featuring caryatids. The columns in the two areas are also different – thin Corinthian ones in the older area, chunky Ionic ones in the newer. There are two marble surround fireplaces with modern tiled interiors and tall mantelpieces with plain mirrors.

Upstairs is now used as a function room. Originally it was two rooms – the front part a restaurant with its entrance from Barking Road and also a function room (originally a billiard room) with its own separate entrance on High Street North above which is a sign in stone relief “Denmark Arms Hotel Luncheons & Lounge”.

The front section upstairs has on the right 5 and on the left 4 large mirrors above a mahogany dado and surround with (rosebud?) decoration between them. A folding partition can separate the two parts. At the rear is the impressive former billiard room with an elaborate ceiling topped with a skylight having painted glass panels. There are more of the large mirrors above a dado on three sides. On the right hand side is a (disused) screened servery which looks like it was an inter-war addition – all the glass panels remain including the ones that can be raised.

There are other good examples of (former) billiard room skylights at Boleyn Tavern, East Ham E6; – possibly the finest of them?; Salisbury N4; Great Northern Railway Tavern, Hornsey; and Duke of Sussex, Chiswick.

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