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Park Tavern

Pub Heritage Group have recently carried out a regrading of Real Heritage Pubs - click here for full details

Greater London South West - Wandsworth

Two star - A pub interior of very special national historic interest

Listed Status: Not listed

212 Merton Road
Wandsworth, Southfields
SW18 5SW

Tel: (020) 8488 8855

Email: info@parktavernsw18.com

Website https://www.parktavernsw18.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ParkTavernSW18

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: Earlsfield

Station Distance: 1300m

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Built in 1902 and with a sizable extension added in 1926, this spacious pub retains fascinating features from both periods.

Occupying a prominent corner location, this consists of a three-storey 1902 core – with attractive bow windows – and, on the southern side, a large extension added in 1926. The two entrances still in use (there were once four) both feature substantial dark-wood vestibules. Above the entrance on Merton Road is fancy ironwork that declares “The Park Tavern” while the floor below it still has mosaic tiling that reads “Public and Jugs Bar” (albeit damaged). The side entrance has floor tiling that announces “Saloon Bar” and a brass plaque on the door that reads the same.    

The 1902 part of the pub was once three rooms plus an off-sales area but has been largely opened up. A 1926 wooden archway still provides some separation between front and rear areas. The bar back is almost entirely modern. Behind it is a decorative 1926 wooden door frame which leads into the tiny publican’s office. Most walls have fielded panelling. A fireplace on the north wall has a 1926 wood surround.

The 1926 extension is rather special. It was designed by T. H. Nowell Parr of the Royal Brewery of Brentford. At the time of writing its woodwork, including fielded panelling to picture-rail height, had escaped the vivid blue paint that adorns much of the rest of the pub. The main feature in here is the grand inglenook fireplace flanked by wooden baffles and containing not just a large stone fire surround but also two wide benches.  Eye-catching wooden balusters – bulky, urn-shaped things - support the wooden canopy above the fireplace. The mantelpiece supports four similar balusters. Two more such balusters flank the wide doorway that connects this room with the 1902 area. 

A series of small window panes in both areas of the pub contain colourful stained glass motifs such as roses, etc. The exterior of the extension boasts two large lanterns which probably date from 1926.

Consisting of a three-storey pub on the right of 1902 and a single-story extension on the right from 1926, it was refitted by T H Nowell Parr for Royal Brewery of Brentford. Remarkably, the 1926 interior of quality fittings is very little changed in three rooms (was originally four and an off sales).

On the Merton Road side an entrance in the three-storey part of the pub has Bostwick gates pulled to the side with ‘Park Tavern’ in the ironwork above. The vestibule, which is curved internally on both sides, has a well worn ‘Public & Jugs Bar’ mosaic floor. There are doors to the left and right (both disused) and one in the centre so it looks like there was an off sales leading from the centre door and originally rooms to the left and right but this is now one large space. On the front right is an area with fielded panelling to picture frame height on the walls, a fireplace with an old wood surround but modern brick interior but the fixed seating is modern. The bar counter is of fielded panelling sloping to the top but is sadly painted white. The front left area has a floor of part modern tiles and part carpet, more fielded panelling to picture frame height on the walls and also another curved entrance with a (disused) central door.

A substantial doorway / short passage with fielded panelling to picture frame height leads to the main bar with a bare wood floor and fielded panelling on the walls to picture frame height. There is another entrance vestibule with a ‘Saloon Bar’ mosaic floor and a door with a brass ‘Saloon Bar’ sign. The bar counter has a front of fielded panelling but is sadly painted white and the counter top could be from 1926. Then bar back fitting lower shelves might be old but the top section is modern; half of lower shelving lost to fridges.

There is a large room in the single-storey part of the building which has a wide opening from the saloon bar but the existence of a beam held up by a pair of bulbous balusters perched on the top of square columns to the left and right indicates it was built like this – wide openings to rooms is a feature of pubs designed by Nowell Parr e.g. Forester, West Ealing, London W13 . This bare boarded room has walls covered in fielded panelling to picture frame height with strapwork decoration all along the top section – look for the folding ventilators in the panelling on the Merton Road side. Most of the rear side of the room is taken up by a large inter-war inglenook fireplace with baffles either side and on top of them are two bulbous balusters holding up the ceiling here. A Tudor-shaped arch stone fireplace has a mantelpiece featuring another four bulbous balusters.

Update January 2020

The historic wooden fittings - bar backs, bar counters, and the extensive wall panelling in the whole of the right hand part of the pub has been painted a vivid blue colour - so our photos are out of date. Fortunately, the panelling and the inglenook fireplace in left hand room still retains its original wood stain.

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