Three star - A pub interior of exceptional national historic importance
Listed Status: II42 Kennington Park Road
Tel: (020) 7735 4312
Real Ale: Yes
Lunchtime Meals: Yes
Evening Meals: Yes
Nearby Station: Elephant & Castle
Station Distance: 700m
Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Elephant & Castle) and Bus Stop
View on: Whatpub
Inside and out, it’s an outstanding example of Brewers’ Tudor design, with many surviving features to enjoy.
An old photograph on a wall informs us that this pub was built in 1933 by the London brewers Hoare and Co. (acquired later that same year by Charrington’s). Inside and out, it’s an outstanding example of Brewers’ Tudor design, with many surviving features to enjoy. These include coloured glass in some of the leaded windows at front and rear; much interior timbering patterned with adze marks to create a sense of antiquity; a central servery with an ornate wooden dividing wall embellished with carved grapes and other motifs; an unusually high brick foot-rest around the base of the counter; light fittings and lamp shades many of which may date from the 1930s; and much more.
Two low doors (only five-foot high and originally intended to be used only by staff) connect left and right rooms. Above each door is a glass panel, one containing an image of a Toby jug (the logo of Hoare and Co., later adopted by Charrington’s), the other containing a red lion (the symbol of Hoare and Co.’s Red Lion brewery). In the left-hand room is a built-in painting of Bonnie Prince Charlie landing in 1745. Three fireplaces contain brick pillars that twist in an eye-catching manner. Numerous doors of almost-medieval appearance proliferate.
Adjoining the pub is a jug-and-bottle shop of similar mock-Tudor appearance. At the time of writing it was being refurbished so as to serve as the office of the Portobello Brewery who own the pub.
In around 2010, the then-owners made several changes to this Grade-2 listed pub without applying for planning permission. The toilets were ripped out to create more seating, and a kitchen was installed at the back of the left-hand room. Southwark Council considered taking enforcement action but nothing was done. Our precious pubs deserve better than this. Despite the alterations, so much of the original interior survives that this is must-visit pub.
Three-storey pub rebuilt 1933 by London brewers Hoare & Co of Red Lion Brewery, East Smithfield, at about the time they were being taken over by Charrington’s of Mile End. Research by English Heritage as part of their Thematic on Inter-War Urban pubs has identified the architect as Sydney Clark.
This is an excellent example of 'Brewers' Tudor' with its timber-framing exterior with brick infill at first floor level. Until 2010 it was possibly the most intact Brewer's Tudor interwar pub left in the country and it still remains fairly intact with the only changes made by new owners Antic carried at the rear to create a third room with alcoves (formerly the toilets) and adding an open kitchen on the rear left – these changes saw a wide gap created in the rear wall of the right hand bar and most of the rear wall of the left hand bar removed to reveal the kitchen. All the original fittings remain intact and even the inter-war tiled dado of the toilets line the walls of the alcoves.
The interior is split down the middle by a dividing wall with the servery sitting in the centre of the pub and staff have Tudor arched shaped doorways for access between the two sides. Both bars have masses of heavy timbering on the ceiling and walls, most of it with adze marks to create a sense of antiquity. There are two low (5 feet 6 ins.) narrow doorways at each end of the servery giving access from one side of the pub to the other; over one doorway a glazed panel with a Toby jug (the emblem of Hoare's, which was later adopted by Charringtons); over the other a glazed panel with a red lion.
The left door leads to a narrow bar with a bare wood floor and popular with diners. There is a timber baffle by the door with Tudor arch detailing. The original panelled bar counter on a raised tiled base remains as does the bar back with a Tudor arch shaped top section with carved decoration including grapes in the spandrels. But the lower shelves have been lost to fridges. On the left are two red painted Tudor-style fireplace surrounds with metal hoods and architect Sidney Clarke trademark spiral brick columns. Above are mock-heraldic cartouches featuring a Toby jug above the left one and a red lion above the right one. In between them is a built-in picture depicting the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland.
The right hand main bar has a wood block floor and a timber baffle by the door with Tudor arch detailing. The original panelled bar counter on a raised tiled base remains as does the bar back with a Tudor arch shaped top section with carved decoration including grapes in the spandrels. But the lower shelves have been lost to fridges. On the rear right is a red painted Tudor-style fireplace surround with a metal hood and architect Sidney Clarke trademark spiral brick columns and above is another heraldic shield. The toilets are now downstairs. On the left the single storey former off licence shop remains but is disused and there are plans to add more stories and create a function room.