Vanishing pubs of London

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.

Wendover Woods wander

Come on, come on. The sun is up, the sky is blue, I am a Beagle, I need a view. What do you mean it’s only 7 am. Ugh lazy bones. Boing, boing, boing, arooo. The day has begun and here I am waiting on my parents to get themselves together.

Uh oh, this could be trouble, as I see both of them putting on their walking shoes. And dad has the car keys. I may live to regret waking them up “early” as there seems to be a steely determination in their eyes. They’ve not even had breakfast and I am being harnessed and made ready to go. What delights await me today? Into the car and off we go, through the lanes and past the rescue centre that I came from. Down the hill and I have no idea where we are. I have never been here before. Excellent a new adventure!

Somewhere new to explore.

As we park, mum is quickly around to get me out of the travel crate and my eyes take in the view. Trees, trees and more trees. This can only mean one thing. Squirrels. And walks. And fun. And shenanigans. OK that’s four things but hey I am a beagle and usually only count the minuscule amount of noms on my tongue.

It appears that none of us have been to Wendover Woods before so we set off at some speed. Well, not exactly speed as sadly I am shackled to mum. At least I have some leeway for pulling instead of having to drag dad around. The scents fill my nose, the sights fill my eyes, the sounds of the woodland creatures fill my ears, the gravel path is under my paws so I only need to taste some stagnant puddle water to have to full sensory experience.

Lets go on the Hillfort walk I hear them say. Pffft I’m not having that, we are going on the Firecrest walk and we divert quickly off the intended path. It’s mighty warm trying to investigate all the new places that I am trying my best to reach as quickly as possible so I am drinking plenty of water.

Dogs everywhere, having fun

There are so many other dogs out here enjoying it all, as well. Most of them are off lead so can wander in and out of the trees and undergrowth. I know I am not allowed off lead so will enjoy myself in my own special way. Come on mum, hurry up.

The lovely Chilterns

Through the woods and along the track, up hill, down hill and then around the zigzag bends. That’s a nice view they think, however I still have much dexploration left in my paws. There are so many smells here that I want to smell them all at the same time. More water and I am starting to slow a little. This is warm, but not that warm. Maybe I’m getting a bit old, who knows. Anyway, not to worry, we are off again and I can smell a squirrel in the trees. But which tree?


Slow down? Pffft.

All too soon we are climbing the hill toward the car and the inevitable return journey home, but there seems to be a large monster looking at me. I have my picture taken with the Gruffalo and we are off to the car for the return journey.

What do you mean, he’s behind you.

That was great fun. I didn’t know about Wendover Woods. I had such a good time and saw so many things. I am definitely going back.

Follow in my paw steps

Chorleywood Common

“Where shall we go for a walk today, Dex?” asks my mum. “And, no, we cannot go on a round the world trip to see all your friends, before you ask”.

“Wow, a walk with mum and dad, this hasn’t happened for a while” I thought. “If I can’t go and see all my pals, then I will make do with a stroll up to the tube station and walk around Chorleywood Common”. That was it then. It was decided. We were off on a family stroll along one of my favourite routes.

Shackled to my dad, we set off. Through the woods, up the hill, past the church, along the road with the posh houses, past the farm and then into the next set of woods.

I was trying to go as quickly as possible, however I was being slowed considerably by being attached to my dad. Does he not realise that the squirrels are all getting away? This is fun, but isn’t quite going as well as I planned. Anyway we crossed the road, strolled quickly through the next wooded area and then into Westwood Park. I stopped briefly for some water as apparently, my tongue was “hanging out of my head”. Then it’s off to the tube station. Thankfully its a Sunday so the trains aren’t full. We only have to go one stop but I am anxious to get on with the next leg of the trip, as I know there will be other furs there to woof with, and hopefully squirrels to arooo.

Ugh good grief. This commuting is so boring

Arriving at Chorleywood we get off the tube train. Hurry up you two, there are creatures to chase, and hedges and shrubs to sniff. Turning right out of the station, we wander quickly along the road and there it is, in all its glory.

I like Chorleywood Common. It’s open, green, has plenty of paths, great views and is about a 2 mile circuit. Mum and dad wanted to stick to the path which snaked away into the distance. However this isn’t very Beagle-like behaviour so I decided we would go off piste. There are 3 pubs close to the Common so if we needed to take shelter we could have done. Sadly the weather was set fair and it was before opening time so any plan I had to go to the pub was well and truly scuppered. On with the walk then. Some bright spark had the idea of carving woodland creatures into some of the tree trunks that had fallen over in previous years on the common. The trunks themselves have been made into handy benches and the additional sculptures of birds, squirrels, caterpillars and other woodland creatures made them look more fun.

These guys look a bit wooden!

We pressed on and saw plenty of other dogs, all of whom I greeted in the customary Beagle fashion of loudly arooing or completely ignoring them whilst I was on a scent. Mum made friends with a 5 month old puppy whilst I was trying to catch the attention of another Beagle who was halfway across the common. No sooner had we passed the cricket pitch and the golf clubhouse than I saw the other beagle wasn’t going the same way as me.

Then it occurred to me that we were returning to the tube station again. This could only mean one thing. The adventure was over. I was going home. Ok, that’s two things.

Onto the tube train for the two stops back to my home town.

We strolled back to the house and I whizzed out into the garden to check that there were no tree based invaders digging holes in my lawn. Once I had ensured that the coast was clear, I flopped satisfied onto one of my six beds. Within seconds I was twitching, snoring and dreaming. I wouldn’t know though, as I was asleep. What an adventure I had. And I was kind enough to take both my parents along to enjoy it as well.

It was as much as I could do to persuade them to take me to the pub in the afternoon. We took our time on the walk to the pub, however I wasn’t going to complain. Shenanigans were complete.

Misty morning, gentle stroll

Continuing with my recent theme of showing you around some of my favourite walks, I decided it would be a stroll through the fields this morning. Mayhall Farm here I come, I thought when I awoke and clambered sleepily from one of my 6 beds, this morning. The only decision to be made was, who should I drag around on the other end of my lead? That decision was made for me when mum went out for a quick walk to get some air into her lungs. Ok, dad its you and me.

Into the first field, past the dead deer carcass and through the gap into the woods. I like this path as there are so many trees and thus squirrels aplenty for me to scent and arooo. The woods this morning had more than a slight element of mystery about them. Shrouded in mist and fog they had an eerie quality. The air was still and this allowed the scent of the squirrels and deer to stay in one place and make my nose very excited. The mist hung like a blanket over the trees. It was nice, I liked it.

Through the wood and into the meadow, through the gate and left around the next field. We circumnavigated another field and found ourselves at the main entrance of what I know as the “mile field” so called as it is almost a mile around the edge. Its actually 0.97 miles but as a dog I am not pedantic enough to worry. Twice around the mile field and we realised it was raining quite hard on one side of the field yet was almost dry on the other. I looked at dad, he looked at me, and we both had the same air of resignation that we were wet and there was nothing we could do about it. Hey ho, on we march.

We took a more direct route back toward home, however dad then made the error of offering me a choice. Straight on, or turn right going up and over the hillock to increase the walk by another 0.25 mile. No prizes for guessing. There were extra woods and squirrels over there, so what did he expect.

Only when we got back to the first field did we meet any other furs or people this morning. It wasn’t far today, only about 5 miles. However it is a fun route as I get to scent so many different creatures. I am very lucky as the local farmers allow access to the paths around the fields. Usually there are quite a few fur friends who I bump into as we are allowed to enjoy the area. I think the weather must have dampened their spirits.

The best part was seeing dad looking like he’d been dunked in a bath fully clothed. And he got a leaky wellie. Me, laugh? Would I?

Dad’s tour of London

As a result of me meeting auntie Carolina and showing her around, it was decided that I would send my hudad back to London on Wednesday. I couldn’t go into many of the buildings that we walked past the previous day on account of me being a furry hound. So we hatched plans to try and show auntie Carolina & auntie Karen around some places. So, I instructed Dad to go into London again.

They all met at Tower Hill tube station and firstly went through St Olave’s Church, Hart Street. St Olave is the patron saint of Norway I believe.

Graveyard of St Olave’s Hart Street

Thence up to the Monument for a really good view of London. The Monument was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London of 1666. It is said that if you were to lay the Monument down upon its side, the fire ball would touch the spot where the fire started in Pudding Lane.

Next was Leadenhall Market which is one of the oldest markets in the City of London originally selling meat, poultry & game. Now it is home to a number of boutique shops and restaurants. The architecture of the Market itself isn’t really altered so maintains much of the older charm.

Leadenhall Market

Then they went to the Royal Exchange. The building was founded in the 16th century by Sir Thomas Gresham. It has twice been destroyed by fire and the current building was designed in the 1840’s. In its various guises it has held the Lloyd’s Insurance Market for around 150 years.

Royal Exchange

Next on the tour was St Pauls. I showed auntie C the outside of the building the previous day. The present St Pauls was started in about 1670 and finished in 1708 apparently. It was officially declared open by Parliament on 25 December 1711.

When they went inside they were all in awe. Well, they were in St Pauls but you know what I mean. It was apparently the most lovely place with fabulous painted ceilings, statues and wonderful architecture. They seemed to spend ages inside marvelling at the sight.

The views over London were pretty good. Dad managed to climb all the way to the Golden Cross to take these pictures.

Once they had finished exploring St Paul’s it was off to Blackfriars tube station and then out of Westminster Station for a tour of Westminster Abbey. Everyone said they were impressed with the architecture of the beautiful building. There were also quite a few famous people including princes, kings, queens and poets interred and commemorated within the Abbey.

They finished their day with a stroll through Victoria Tower Gardens, for the best views of the Houses of Parliament.

They departed with sore feet and happy faces. Everyone said they had a nice time.

I hope so. Auntie C had travelled a long way to see London. I think she enjoyed it.

On the viewing gallery of St Pauls

Aventuras de Londres

Tuesday morning dawned and I was quickly on my paws around the fields with my hudad. In and out of the hedgerows, through the woods, around the edges of the ploughed fields and then a quick circuit of the big field. Just over 4 miles and home for second breakfast. Suddenly my harness is being waved in my direction and we are going for another walk. I will not complain as I get to sniff around in the park, woods, lanes or fields again.Once harnessed, I saw there was a very colourful bandana attached to my collar and it had my name on it. This time I was with both my human pawrents so this gave me suspicious ears. Along the road until we arrived at the train station. I remembered I had been here previously. The overground train arrived and we jumped on board. I like adventures and this was going to be a mystery tour for me.

Are we nearly there yet?

Arriving in London some 40 minutes later I tasted the same type of stale air that I had tasted some 5 months ago. My ears were still suspicious as we walked briskly through Regents Park. Sadly there were no squirrels. We descended onto the Underground and took the train to Aldgate. Up the steps and into the maelstrom that is the edge of the City of London. I had not been here before, this was a new adventure for me. We seemed to be late as I was hurried down various streets only to arrive at a view of the Tower of London. When I stopped gazing in wonder at the Tower I felt a different pair of hands giving my ears a really good tickle. There was my auntie from Argentina. What was auntie Carolina doing in London? Why was I getting ear scroffles from an auntie who was supposed to be 11,514 kilometres away. I no longer had suspicious ears, they were now happy. Very happy. She does great ear tickles to be honest.

We set off on a great adventure. I took the lead of course. We went over Tower Bridge and then along past Hays Galleria.

Honoured to have my ears tickled

We walked under London Bridge and past Golden Hinde and then to Shakespeare’s Globe. Now we decided to go over to the north side of the river so we crossed the wobbly Bridge, with St Pauls Cathedral looming in the near distance.

I’ve been here before

Through Paternoster Square and we strolled down to Blackfriars tube station. We got off the tube at St James’s Park for a stroll about.

Am I allowed to water these flowers?

Everyone sat down on a park bench to eat some food whilst I was quiet and reserved as usual.

Are you sure the sandwich hasn’t got my name on it?

Fortunately there are quite a few squirrels in the park so I managed to introduce myself to some of them just after humum had finished her sandwich. After a while we allowed auntie Carolina to go about the rest of her day and she took a London Tour Bus around the city for a few hours.

I left with sad ears as I had a wonderful day with a lovely person in a great city. I slept all the way home on the tube train. Well most of the way.

What a great day I have had.

I will never, ever forget this day. I was honoured to show auntie Carolina around a small part of London.

A love story

I wasn’t going to do another blog this week. However in light of my poem yesterday, I got a tweet from a friend of mine on Twitter. She’s a lady by the name of Kristin Boes, also known as @catladyfurever. This lady rescued a 10 year old beagle originally called Edna and quickly re-named Daisy. Her story was published in a local magazine and can be found here –

https://petceteracolumbus.com/domesticated .

I read the story and admit that it really got to me, as a rescue dog myself. Daisy wasn’t looked after well, it seems, in her life prior to arriving at the rescue centre and to meeting Kristin and her husband. Once Daisy had adopted them, her life was full of happiness, compassion and understanding. And hugs. Plenty of hugs and kisses. Daisy went to the Rainbow Bridge on 27th February 2019. However she went with the knowledge that the last years of her life showed her what it is like to be loved and cared for in an environment where accidents aren’t punished and love is given freely. The following poem written by Kristin, deserves a read, I think.

I spent the first ten years of life

Trapped inside a cage

Then wound up at a shelter

Unwanted for my age

I spent my days in loneliness

Confusion and in doubt

Wondering if there’d ever be

Someone to let me out

But then one day a lady came

And saw beyond the grey

And ever since that moment

Every day’s been my best day

I don’t know how to be a dog

I couldn’t if I tried

I don’t know how to play with toys

I sometimes pee inside.

No one taught me any tricks

I’m not so great with leashes

But there’s one thing I’m amazing at

I love my mom to pieces.

When mommy comes home every day

From where she went without me

It’s better than a million treats!

I love her so devoutly.

She could have picked a little pup

A cuter one, or bolder

But mommy tells me all the time

She loves that I am older.

My usual state is sleepy

I like to take long naps

My favourite place in all the world

Is on or near a lap.

I don’t claw up the furniture

Or chew on peoples clothes

And everyday I’m thankful

That I’m the one she chose.

I may not be the perfect dog

Though I try and do my best

My first ten years were terrible

But she saved all the rest.

Some lines in the poem resonate with me. I want to pick out a couple.

She could have picked a little pup“. How many people look through rescue websites and scan over the older dogs but are immediately attracted to a puppy or juvenile which is probably going to be as much of a handful as an older fur.

I don’t know how to be a dog“. For someone to look at a sentient creature and wonder that they don’t know how to be a dog, must have been so utterly challenging and demoralising for both Kristin and Daisy. How can a dog not know “how” to be a dog, how to play with toys, how to interact? What life did poor Daisy have before she adopted her humans. That last part is the bit I don’t want to know.

This is Daisy. I think you need only look at her face to see what she thought of her, sadly too few, years in a loving home.

As for the line in the poem, “I may not be the perfect dog“. I shall leave that to your own thoughts. Daisy looks happy to have had a chance to live out her last years in comfort with love and affection. Daisy was perfect in Kristin’s eyes, I am sure.

Just one last thing to say. Daisy waited for Kristin to come home from work before going on her longest journey. Sometimes love is so all encompassing, that it’s scary.