Royal Oak

Greater London East - Bethnal Green

A historic pub interior of regional importance

Listed Status: II

73 Columbia Road
Bethnal Green, Shoreditch
E2 7RG

Tel: (020) 3437 0131

Email: royaloak@youngs.co.uk

Website https://www.royaloakbethnalgreen.co.uk/

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

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: Bethnal Green (National Rail)

Station Distance: 950m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Bethnal Green (National Rail)) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Two storey of brick built 1923, probably by A E Sewell, for Truman’s brewery. Originally there were partitions creating a public bar, off-sales, another bar, and a dining room at the rear right where the floor is boarded (which was likely to have been carpeted) – the rest having a parquet block one – but all the partitions have been removed so the interior is now open plan. The original central island bar servery with a fielded panelling front survives but only the lower part of the island gantry style bar back survives (and a lot of shelving lost to fridges), the top section having been removed.

Fielded panelling lines the walls to three-quarters height, and in certain areas has the names of beers inlaid - ‘Trumans Eagle Ale’, ‘Trumans Imperial Stout’, ‘Trubrown Ale’, ‘Ben Truman’, ‘Barley Wine’, ‘Trumans Burton Brewed Bitter’, and ‘Mild Ales’. However, the ‘Ben Truman’, ‘Barley Wine’, and ‘Mild Ales’ are on pieces of wood added to the panelling whereas the others are gilt lettering directly onto the panelling and look modern additions. Also on the walls lining the exterior is more fielded panelling topped with a row of green tiles under the windows, that can be opened vertically in summer.

Two storey of brick built 1923, probably by A E Sewell, for Truman’s brewery. The ground floor exterior is entirely clad in cream faience above sill level, and in green tile below. ‘The Royal Oak’ in faience is on the fascia on both street sides and in a framed panel above the corner door is. Above that a panel is inscribed ‘1923 / TRUMAN / HANBURY / BUXTON / & CO LTD’. There is a second double door centrally situated on the Columbia Road side with ‘BOTTLE & JUG’ etched into the glazing in both panels.

Originally there were partitions creating a public bar, off-sales, another bar, and a dining room at the rear right where the floor is boarded (which was likely to have been carpeted) – the rest having a parquet block one – but all the partitions have been removed so the interior is now open plan. The original central island bar servery with a fielded panelling front survives but only the lower part of the island gantry style bar back survives (and a lot of shelving lost to fridges), the top section having been removed.

Fielded panelling lines the walls to three-quarters height, and in certain areas has the names of beers inlaid - ‘Trumans Eagle Ale’, ‘Trumans Imperial Stout’, ‘Trubrown Ale’, ‘Ben Truman’, ‘Barley Wine’, ‘Trumans Burton Brewed Bitter’, and ‘Mild Ales’. However, the ‘Ben Truman’, ‘Barley Wine’, and ‘Mild Ales’ are on pieces of wood added to the panelling whereas the others are gilt lettering directly onto the panelling and look modern additions. Also on the walls lining the exterior is more fielded panelling topped with a row of green tiles under the windows, that can be opened vertically in summer.

In this rear right former dining room area there is a fireplace with a panelled timber surround (no panelling above the fireplace) and in the former public bar near the right hand entrance is a second fireplace with a brown glazed brick surround and is a less elaborate piece reflecting the lower status of the room. The ceiling is white Vitrolite panelling with timber ribs with small square bosses to the corners. Toilets are modernised throughout but do have modern light green brick shaped tiles throughout floor to ceiling.

From the right hand door is a lobby (with a door to/from the public bar) and staircase to the first floor with a small section of panelling on the left hand side (modern handrail). The main room of the first floor has a bare wood floor, is open plan, and (uniquely in London?) retains an inter-war curved fielded panelled bar counter (modern top) and some modest shelves (age?) for a bar back. The room has two fireplaces: one has a simple painted oak surround with delicate mouldings and red tiling; the other has brown glazed brick and a timber mantel shelf. Note the old gas fitting near the top of the stairs to the first floor.

Read More