A historic pub interior of national importance
Listed Status: II10A Strathearn Place
This Fuller’s-owned, corner-site pub has spectacular early fittings. Such was the amount of pub renovation from the end of the 19th century that any earlier fittings are incredibly rare. At the Victoria 1864 is suggested by the date on the clock behind the bar: as such they make up one of the oldest, securely datable Victorian pub-furnishing schemes in the country. We even know the man responsible for the work because, below the clock, is the inscription, ‘S. Hill Fitter New St. Boro’ Rd. Southwark’ (the clock is also signed by local clock-maker ‘Wm C. Mansell’). The back fitting, together with a side wall, has large mirrors with really intricate gilding and coloured decoration (one of the panels has been replaced and it is not hard to work out which). In the angle of the building is a delicate Regency-style fireplace containing a print of a famous picture of 1846 by F. X. Winterhalter of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their numerous progeny. The counter is no doubt original to 1864. The prints of soldiers, tiles with Dickens characters and various roundels have been suggested as insertions from the 1960s or 1970s. In Victorian times the interior would have been divided: the two outside doors give the clue. The decorative ceiling is made of Lincrusta. Upstairs the Theatre Bar has ornate fittings imported from the Gaiety Theatre about 1958.
Between Paddington Station and Hyde Park, this Fuller’s-owned corner-site pub has some very early and spectacular fittings. Such was the amount of pub renovation at the end of the 19th century and since, that any fittings before the late-Victorian era are incredibly rare. Those at the Victoria are stylistically mid-Victorian and a precise date – 1864 – is suggested by the date on a clock in the bar-back fitting. This, and a side wall, have large mirrors with intricate gilding and coloured decoration, each panel being separated from the others by detached columns with lozenge and Fleur-de-Lys decoration. This may be the oldest surviving bar back in the country, with the other possible contenders being the Kings Head, Bristol dating from c. 1865 and the Red Cow, Richmond
In the angle of the building is a delicate Regency-style fireplace containing a print of Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their numerous progeny.
The counter is no doubt a piece from 1864 with panelled bays divided by fluted pilasters. It still retains a brass water-dispenser for diluting spirits – still fully functioning. Mounted on the long wall are coloured prints of soldiers in wooden frames but these are most probably a relatively modern (though now smoke-stained) addition. There are several outside doors and these would have led originally to a series of internal drinking areas, separated by screenwork. Upstairs the Theatre Bar has ornate fittings imported from the Gaiety Theatre about 1958.