Our Lost Pub Heritage

Firstly, my thanks to Mick Slaughter and Geoff Brandwood of CAMRA’s Pub Heritage Group who drew this subject to my attention. They also provided the magnificent photos, marked MS and GB as appropriate. Mick, I should add, is a Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society. It came about when Mick was recently updating the Heritage Pubs website and came to realise just how bad the losses of historic pub interiors in London has been. He provided me with a sample of eleven pubs as listed below.

I fully appreciate that we currently have a bigger worry about which of our current pubs might be lost in the coming months but I think that it does no harm to be aware of what we have already lost. Some have been mentioned here before but not with photos. The pubs are in no particular order.


Dr Johnson – private bar

This was briefly mentioned in the last edition. It closed in 2010 and reopened as a Co-op local supermarket in late 2019. Former local CAMRA member Daphne Mair made this comment to Mick, “Thought you would like to know that the former Grade II-listed pub the Dr Johnson, Barkingside, has just re-opened as a Co-op local supermarket. I visited it yesterday (I grew up about 300m away). Restoration of the outside is largely ‘as was’, even if the window paintwork is a bit glary white. Sadly the outside portrait mural of Dr Johnson went some time ago. Inside, two sections of the quadrant bars have been retained behind glass panels with piles of stock obscuring one side and the ‘card only’ self-service tills almost hiding the other. Where once I consumed a half of Directors, I yesterday bought some milk ….”

Dr Johnson – Rear Bar


The pub was totally refurbished and extended in 2017, before it was sold to the City Pub Company. The panelling has largely been retained although some of it had to be replaced so is modern. The major change was that the rare snob screens have been moved to the back of the bar, out of their original position. The photo (MS) shows them as they were originally.


The story of this illegally demolished pub should be known to most readers. This is how the interior looked a few years ago. What will it look like when, if ever, the replacement opens? (GB)


This pub closed in 2012, following its sale by Enterprise Inns (as was) to the local Muslim community and was converted to a mosque called Cann Hall (GB).


Another one of many supermarket conversions, this distinctive pub became a Tesco’s in 2012/13. The photo (GB) shows some of the seating which may well be unique.


Closed in 2014 and sold at auction to the Christ Apostolic Church who removed the interior. The photo is of the middle bar (MS).


The pub was sold in 2014 for £27 million in 2014, believed to have been a record for a central London pub. It was then demolished to build a block of appropriately up-market apartments. The photo shows one of its distinctive features, a rare copper panel (one of a pair). The only two other pub known to have anything similar is the Black Lion in Kilburn which has four of them.


Once a famous music pub, it closed in 2015. The building has been the subject of extensive works. The upper floors are understood to be being retained and expanded as a hotel while the group floor is, almost inevitably, a Co-op outlet. The Co-op has said that it will try to preserve the remaining tilework and mirrors. The photo (GB) gives an idea of the quality of the tilework.


This is our cover photo. The pub was closed in 2013 and the Interior gutted in the course of its conversion to a Co-op store.


This pub was closed in 2012 and converted to a Nepalese restaurant. A lot of the wall panelling remains but it has been painted over in that particular shade of grey used in gastropubs. The photo (GB) shows how it was as a pub, possibly enjoying its last Christmas.


Hope & Anchor – public bar

This is particularly sad for me because I used to use this pub when I lived and worked in the area. It closed in July 2012 and the upper floors become a private residence. Permission has been refused for the ground floor to be incorporated so as to create a single dwelling but there is a danger that this could occur by default. The pub forms the corner of a block of flats which is Grade II-listed so demolition is unlikely. It is not impossible that it may one day reopen as a pub.

Hope & Anchor – saloon bar

Tony Hedger