Anchor Tap

Greater London South East - London

A historic pub interior of some regional importance

Listed Status: II

20 Horselydown Lane
London, Bermondsey-West
SE1 2LN

Tel: (020) 7403 4637

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: London Bridge

Station Distance: 700m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (London Bridge) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Once the tap for the nearby former Courage Horsleydown brewery, this is now a Sam Smith's house. The main room in the centre of the pub houses the servery with an old counter but new bar back. There are two small rooms to the left of this, and a further one to the rear.

The front-most of the two rooms has wooden panelling to dado height plus some built in seating, the other more dado height panelling. The room behind the servery has more dado height panelling and an impressive fireplace.

A larger room to the left with wooden panelling to dado height houses an old bar counter with a metal edged spittoon trough, but the bar back appears modern.

Built early to mid 19th century (source: Historic England – the pub claims 1761) and refurbished in the late 19th century. It was built as the Tap to the Anchor Brewery, the former Courage Horsleydown brewery, but was sold to Samuel Smiths in the early 1990s. At the front there are two small bars with genuine old fittings, at the rear a room that looks to be in pub use for many years with what looks like a hatch for service. A corridor runs down the left hand side of the servery off which are doorways leading firstly the games room and the lounge which might well have been brought into public use in modern times. Also, there are rooms upstairs now in public use. The double door entrance leads into the public bar which has a terrazzo floor, a late 19th century panelled bar counter with decorative brackets but the mirrored bar back fitting is (mostly) modern – the top section is described in the listed description as having a ‘moulded cornice, pilasters and mirrors’. To the right is a late 19th century fireplace with red tiled surround. There is a dado of old matchboard panelling and the chimney breast projects into the side bar. There is a passage to the rear room with two rooms off to the left that have seen changes but it is not clear they were originally pubs rooms. The side bar is now accessed through a low doorway near the fireplace but staff say originally it was accessed from a door on the front right and the changes were over 35 years ago i.e. prior to Samuel Smiths ownership. It has a late 19th century panelled bar counter with decorative brackets in front of which is a linoleum trough area with a brass edging, but the mirrored bar back fitting is wholly modern. This long thin room contains old dado match-board panelling but the wall bench seating at the front and rear right looks post war (which would tie in with a change to the front of the building) and there is a small cast iron fireplace at the rear possibly added by Samuel Smiths? The listed description (2004) states there was a late 19th century fireplace with red tiled surround?

The small room at the rear right has a doorway off the passage and new lino tiled floor. There is a massive stone fireplace original to the building and to the left of it is a genuine looking old hatch to the back of the servery but no longer in use as covered by a solid window. The dado of match-board panelling looks old but it is difficult to date the wall benches at the rear.

The small room on the front left of the building is now called the games room and has blocked up corner doors as it is now accessed via a doorway from the main bar. It has a dado of old match-board panelling on the exterior wall sides, modern lino tiled floor and a large Bass mirror but no sign of a fireplace. There is a disused door at the rear of the room as well as a new door from the main bar – the wall it is in appears a stud insertion. Beyond a short passage from a door on the Horsleydown Lane side there is another small room called the lounge accessed via a doorway with no old fittings – the wall on the right of the entrance appears a stud insertion.

Upstairs is what is called the dining room and consists of three small areas with modern bar fittings and two fireplaces, one being a mid C19 marble one. Access to this upper room from the right-hand side of the pub is via an unusual early C19 winder staircase with stick balusters. It goes down to a small hall at the rear of the pub with doors to the small rear room and side bar.

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