Two star - A pub interior of outstanding national historic interest
Listed Status: Not listed35 Denmark Hill
Tel: (020) 7703 1654
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: Denmark Hill
Station Distance: 500m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Denmark Hill) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
A two-room Victorian pub which retains many original features, principally some pictorial tiling.
Externally this is a classic example of an unpretentious Victorian corner pub, and its interior still contains much of interest. It has retained a two-room layout – a rarity in London these days – and the rooms are separated by a servery which still occupies its original location. A side entrance opens onto a small foyer which separates the two rooms. An old wooden partition, still containing etched glass windows, further separates the two areas, and extends round from the front bar to the small lobby. Within the servery is a glazed-in publican’s office – another remarkable survivor and something which long ago was ripped out of many other pubs.
The pub’s most eye-catching feature is the pictorial tiling which covers one wall of the front bar. It displays the arms of the Joiners’ and Ceilers’ Company, one of a hundred City livery companies. It is worth pausing for a while to notice its three human figures, the items they carry, the vegetation, the knight’s helmet, the shield and the motto “Join Truth With Trust”. In the tiling’s four outer corners are images of the implements of the joiners’ trade. Curiously, the company’s motto is actually “Join Loyalty and Liberty” - the reason for this deviation is unknown.
The front bar has an elegant patterned ceiling – presumably Victorian – divided into large squares (roughly two foot square) separated by wooden borders. The ceiling in the rear bar is plainer, apart from one intriguing small area that boasts a very ornate pattern, suggesting that there once may have been a small private bar below it, or perhaps it was the publican’s private lounge.