As some of my readers will know, I have been to London a couple of times and enjoyed exploring the city very much. So when, some time ago, my dad saw a blog written by The Gentle Author, our inquisitive nature came to the fore. The Gentle Author is a blogger and writer, based in Spitalfields which is on the boundary of East London and the City. The blog in question related to some photographs taken by a gentleman called Jeffrey Johnson. Mr Johnson subsequently deposited the photographs with the Bishopsgate Institute. They were taken in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s and were of various pubs in London. Whilst looking through the photographs, we realised that some of the pubs were no longer there. As a result of our interest, we decided I would send out my Research Assistant, also known as my dad, to investigate whether the pubs were still standing. If they were no longer there, what is in their place, we wondered.
Over a few days dad photographed, we believe, the locations of the pubs and this blog deals with what he found. I must at this point say thank you to both the Gentle Author and to Bishopsgate Institute, without whose assistance and guidance this blog entry could not take place. The photographs are arranged in the order in which they originally appeared, with Jeffrey Johnson’s picture being shown first.
The Hoop & Grapes, Aldgate
It is the oldest licensed house in the City of London, dating from 1593. Originally called The Castle, then the Angel & Crown, then Christopher Hills and finally the Hoop & Grapes. This is a reference to the sale of both beer & wine and was given the name in the 1920’s. The pub is a Grade II listed building.
Sir Walter Scott, 2 Broadway Market E8
The first reference we could find of the pub was 1851. The pub is now the Market Cafe. It stands on the corner of Broadway Market and Andrews Road, close by the Regents Canal.
City of Dublin Bottling Co., Dericote Street, nr Broadway Market E8
The building appears remarkably similar however it is clearly a private residence now. The history is somewhat shrouded in mystery, although we understand that it was part of the Guinness empire.
Knave of Clubs, 25 Bethnal Green Road E2
Grade II listed, present in 1735 the pub became a restaurant around 1994 before closing in 2001. It has since reopened as a bar & restaurant called Dirty Bones which is still open today.
Crown & Woolpack 394 St John Street, Clerkenwell
Believed to date originally from around 1851, the pub was open until 1990, then closed. It has undergone some refurbishment and is currently a hairdressers, called The Chapel.
Centre Page, Knightrider Street EC4V
Originally known as the Horn Tavern, the pub can be seen on the left when crossing the “wobbly” bridge from Tate Modern to the north bank approaching St Pauls. Another Grade II listed building, this time built in the mid 19th century. The other buildings in the area around the pub have changed significantly.
Brunswick Arms, Macdonald Road, Archway
The pub appears to have been on the corner of Macdonald Road & Vorley Road. It was demolished in the early 1980’s. The Archway Leisure Centre stands adjacent to the site and there is no trace of the pub. The flats behind the pub remain.
Queens Head, 31 Blackfriars Lane EC4V
The pub was situated immediately adjacent to the Thameslink rail line at Blackfriars. It was demolished in 1999 and now offices are in its place.
Crooked Billet, Wood Street & Chingford Road, Walthamstow
It’s believed a pub was on the site from 1742 – 1991. It was subsequently demolished for a roundabout known as The Crooked Billet on the A406 North Circular Road.
Old Bell Tavern, Pancras Road
The history of this pub appears to be difficult to come by and very little seems to be on record. The building has been swept away to provide taxi ranks and a pedestrianised area for King’s Cross and St Pancras stations. The German Gymnasium in the background of both pictures was the first purpose built gymnasium in England. It was built between 1864-1865 and today is a restaurant.
Magpie & Stump
Opposite the Old Bailey (or the Central Criminal Court) the Magpie & Stump was apparently nicknamed Court no.10 as it was regularly filled with detectives and reporters to discuss the proceedings. The old building has been replaced by an office incorporating the pub.
Mackworth Arms, 158 Commercial Road, E1
The pub was present in 1817 and closed around 2005. It’s latest use seems to be a clothes shop, however that also looked like it had been closed for a while.
Red Lion, 217 Whitechapel Road
Originally known as the Old Red Lion, the pub was present by 1839, when it became known as the Red Lion. It survived as a pub until around 1989 and is currently a shoe store under the name Sidhu.
Green Man, 7&9 Bucklersbury, St Benet Sherehog, EC4
The pub was situated in St Benet Sherehog, which now seems to be Sise Lane. It was demolished to allow the building of One Poultry, which was completed in 1997. There is another Green Man pub incorporated into the One Poultry development.
Marquis of Anglesey, 77 Ashmill Street, NW1
The address was changed prior to 1915 from 77 Devonshire Street to Ashmill Street. The pub closed around 2009 and became offices.
Bulls Head, 80 Leadenhall Street, EC3A
Demolished in 1990 to make way for an office development. Opposite Hartshorn Alley leading to Fenchurch Street.
White Horse, 8 Little Britain
Now known as 1 Little Britain. The sign is hidden behind the barred gate. There seems to have been a pub on the site since 1765, it was rebuilt in 1892 and closed around 1971. Converted to offices.
Olde Wine Shades, Martin Lane, EC4R
Now seems to be called El Vino The Olde Wine Shades, the pub remains on the same site. The establishment was built in 1663, so predates the Great Fire of London by 3 years. Due to the architectural and historical significance, it is Grade II listed.
The Crispin, 1 Finsbury Avenue EC2M
The original pub appears to have been rebuilt in the 1980’s and was then redeveloped as part of the Broadgate Development. It closed permanently in 2012. We cannot find details as to when the pub was first noted on the site of Finsbury Avenue.
Blue Posts, 73-75 West India Dock Road E14
The area has changed out of all recognition from the original photo. Westferry DLR station sits just a little behind the location of the pub. The original pub was present by 1800 and extensively rebuilt by 1876. It was demolished around 1987 – 1988 for the widening of the West India Dock Road.
Ticket Porter, Arthur Street, EC4R
The early address shows as 5 Arthur Street West however by 1910 it was shown as 17 & 19 Arthur Street. It is thought that the name came from the Ticket Porters who’s job it was to carry goods across London. The site is now redeveloped as part of the Bank interchange upgrade. The latest photograph was taken from slightly further down the hill toward Upper Thames Street.
Weavers Arms, 36 Sun Street, Finsbury EC2M
There appears to have been a pub called Weavers Arms since 1869 when it was thought to be at 13 Crown Street. The pub appears to have been demolished as part of the Broadgate Development and is known as 3 Finsbury Avenue which has taken the place of the southern side of Sun Street.
I hope you have enjoyed my blog. As you will see, some of the pubs still remain and are open for business. However sadly many are closed, redeveloped or swept away in the tide of change and progress that is forever present in cities such as London.
The Gentle Author’s blog can be found at http://spitalfieldslife.com and the Bishopsgate Institute can be contacted through their website at https://www.bishopsgate.org.uk . They have many interesting articles and information for everyone to view and enjoy.