Flying Horse

Greater London Central - London

A historic pub interior of national importance

Listed Status: II*

6 Oxford Street
London, Fitzrovia
W1D 1AN

Tel: (020) 7636 8324

Email: tottenham@nicholsonspubs.com

Website https://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/restaurants/london/theflyinghorseoxfordstreetlondon

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

Real Ale: Yes

Nearby Station: London Charing Cross

Station Distance: 1050m

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

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

Built in 1892/93 in a florid Flemish Renaissance style, architects Saville & Martin, for Baker Bros. Now a long, single space, as a result of the amalgamation of the original two rooms. Note there are two distinct parts to the ceiling - the front one has a modest frieze; the rear part a tiled frieze and skylight. Originally there would have been entrance on the left that led to the rear room, the passage running where the present bar back and bar counter are situated.

Head for the rear section to admire some of the most exceptional and rare Victorian pub fittings seen anywhere. The walls on three sides have carved mahogany pilastered panelling and within it is an impressive display of paintings which feature women representing three of the four seasons (number four has been lost at some stage). Also, three back-painted mirrors by Jones and Firmin. There are tiled panels between the paintings and mirrors, four of which depict flowering urns by Millington, Wisdom and Co.

There is a large ornate mahogany-surround fireplace with overmantle featuring three plain mirrors and other large plain mirrors. Above all of these rare features is a colourful tiled frieze with swirling foliage; and an impressive large octagonal skylight with a tiled cornice; however modern coloured glass has been inserted. Also on the ceiling are two painted roundels depicting mythological scenes by de Jong (and another four in the front room part).

The much altered front room part has a modern bar counter. The bar back might be old but moved back from its original position. The pilastered panelling also runs along the right hand side wall and includes one of the rare paintings. Downstairs is a room now St Giles Bar, which has a modern bar counter and bar back.

Right by Tottenham Court Road Tube station, this is the last-remaining pub on whole length of Oxford Street. It was built in 1892/93 in a florid Flemish Renaissance style to the designs of architects Saville & Martin (who also designed the Punch Tavern, EC4) and occupies a narrow plot which no doubt reflects a long history. It was built for Baker Bros. (William Henry and Richard Baker), who epitomises the boom and bust world of late C19 public house speculation.

The pub now consists of a long, single space, which is the result of the amalgamation of two rooms from the original Victorian pub. Note there are two distinct parts to the ceiling - the front one has a modest frieze; the rear part has a tiled frieze and a skylight. Originally there would have been entrance on the left that led to a passage to enter the rear room – note the ceiling mouldings at the front left which confirms this. The passage ran where the present bar back, bar counter and dumb waiter are situated.

Head for the rear section to admire some of the most exceptional and rare Victorian pub fittings seen anywhere. The walls on three sides above the dado have carved mahogany pilastered panelling and within it is an impressive display of rare paintings; back painted mirrors; narrow panels of embossed tiling’ and some plain mirrors. The panelling also runs along the right hand side wall of the front former room. From the front door there is the first of a series of paintings which feature women representing three of the four seasons - this one is entitled ‘Autumn’ and is carrying grapes. (The fourth painting 'Winter' has disappeared, although it is just possible that it might have survived beneath the modern wall coverings beside the entrance). Either side of the first painting are panels of embossed tiles followed by a bevelled plain mirror.

In the rear section (formerly the rear room as indicated by the ceiling) firstly is a panel of encaustic tiles depicting flowering urns by Millington, Wisdom and Co, Art Tile Painters of Shaftesbury Avenue. Next is the second of the canvases of the Seasons featuring plump allegorical figures, ‘Summer’, carrying pheasants, signed by Felix de Jong and Co. Then there is the first of three back-painted mirrors, a large one, with ribbons, cherubs and cornucopia by Jones and Firmin who reintroduced this technique for decorating glass in the 1880s. Then a large plain mirror. Then the second panel of encaustic tiles depicting flowering urns. Next is the third of the rare paintings, ‘Spring’ carrying flowers; and tucked in a recess a tall narrow plain mirror in a tiled and ceramic frame.

The rear wall is dominated by a large ornate mahogany-surround fireplace with overmantle featuring three plain mirrors. To the left is the second of the back-painted mirrors, a slightly smaller one.

The left-hand wall is also lined with carved mahogany panelling with large mirrored sections and small bevelled mirror sections at the top. In a recess at the rear of the left side is the fourth panel of encaustic tiles depicting flowering urns, which is in a in a tiled and ceramic frame. Also (check) the third of the back-painted mirrors (listed description states “three”)? Above all of these rare features is a colourful tiled frieze with swirling foliage that runs all around the ceiling. Above the rear part of the room is an impressive large octagonal skylight with a tiled cornice; however modern coloured glass has been inserted. In the front half of the rear section there are two painted roundels depicting Classical scenes, also by de Jong.

The much altered front room part has a modern bar counter. The bar back might be old but moved back from its original position and, in a similar style to the very different frieze treatment, it is plain and with modern mirrors. The dumb waiter is modern. On the extension to the bar counter that runs into the former rear room there is a simple reproduction of a set of snob screens. On the ceiling of the former front room are another four painted roundels depicting mythological scenes by de Jong. The is some tiling on the dado of the front section of the pub.

The present window frontage is a later addition - it could be that the fourth painting is situated on the right hand wall just inside the front door and now covered by modern panelling? Downstairs, now only accessible from the rear left of the main bar, is a room now St Giles Bar, which has a modern bar counter and bar back.

It was built on the site of a pub called the Flying Horse and in 2015 it changed its name to the Flying Horse after more than a century as the Tottenham.

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