DERELICT LONDON PUBS - Central-ish London (mainly in zone 1) - as far SE as some of Bermondsey,south to the Elephant and Vauxhall, as far East as Aldgate, West out to Notting Hill and North to King X. Roughly...
The Intrepid Fox - St Giles Circus WC2
The Intrepid Fox gets its name from the eighteenth-century political wheeler and dealer Charles James Fox who famously once promised free beer to anyone who offered him electoral support. In more recent times the pub became the favourite watering-hole of London’s rock elite and a big tourist draw. Mick Jagger and Rod Stewart are rumoured to have come close to trading punches here after the former tried to poach Ronnie Wood – then in Stewart’s band the Faces – for the Rolling Stones. The late hell-raising actor Richard Harris was also a regular, and other customers included Mel Gibson. The pub was a popular place to meet before going to the Marquee Club just down the road.
The original Intrepid Fox in Soho's Wardour Street was closed in 2006 and lay derelict for a few years as covered in the Derelict London book and here. The site reopened as part of the Byron burger restaurant chain.
Everybody was dismayed when this historic piece of Soho was closed down. Malcolm McLaren, who used to drink at the Fox with Johnny Rotten and the other Sex Pistols in the 1970s, backed an unsuccessful campaign to save the pub, having once named it one of the five best in the world. An ex-landlord comments on the closure: ‘It is another step towards the homogenization of Soho as just another bland, faceless area.’
The pub name resurfaced nearby behind Centrepoint in a modern building lacking any charm compared to the Soho site. The theme remained hard rock and alternative though, to me, came across a little contrived and was more of a tourist novelty rather than the previous boozer once frequented by movers and shakers in the rock scene.That said, it was good to see some sort of "alternative" venue in Central London especially in the light of the recent loss of the nearby Astoria and Metro due to Crossrail construction.
This Intrepid Fox closed down in April 2014 partly due to (but not directly related to) Crossrail. The expected increase in property prices following the planned opening of the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station led to the sale of The Intrepid Fox premises which will soon be demolished to make way for an 11-storey block,containing flats, shops and a restaurant or a bar.
However, up in North London the Intrepid Fox mark 3 has surfaced at the Archway Tavern, once famous for its interior being the cover photo for the Muswell Hillbillies album by The Kinks. The press release for the resurrection states: "a safe haven for London’s rockers and goths, punks and metallers alike… It’s the f**kin’ Wild-West up here, partners. We’re currently stamping our unique mark on the venue and hatching plans to use the cannon to fire “death-monkeys” at any corporate institutionalism foolish enough to come into our sights…"
KINGS CROSS N1 - The Talbot Arms pub
This pub building going back to the 1860s has been derelict for over 20 years. When it stopped trading as a pub is not clear.
In the mid 1980s the building was nicknamed Crucial Corner and housed the offices of Better Badges (a leading maker of punk pin badges & promotional material for record labels), Fuck Off Tapes and All The Madmen Records (Thatcher on Acid, Blyth Power & The Mob).
The building was going to be demolished in the 1990s to make way for housing association flats but then it was decided to retain the original structure which may have put off the developers and the place has slowly rotted away and the owners have failed to do anything about it. In 2004 Islington Council were pursuing a compulsory purchase order but that doesnt seem to have got anywhere.
Holborn, EC4 - City Retreat
The concrete office buildings which the pubs are on the ground floor of are being demolished to make way for a new office development. This Youngs pub which closed in January 2013 was not much to look at from the outside but inside it had a warm old school pub feel with decent staff & good value food.
ISLINGTON - JACK BEARDS Formerly the Oakley Arms.
Jack Beard's pubs were a brand of CC Taverns, which in July 2010 went into administration.
In 1885 a policeman read his statement out at the Old Bailey: "At 4 o'clock on the morning of 25th March I was on duty in Hall Street—I found the Oakley Arms had been broken into and that all the spirit taps had been left running and a plate of human excrement on the counter." The defendant was sentenced to 15 months hard labour for this crime.
The plate of excrement has since been removed from the bar..
VICTORIA SW1- THE DUKE OF YORK , THE STAGE DOOR, THE STAG & KINGS ARMS Public Houses + Many Other Buildings
The Duke of York
Much change going on in Victoria in recent months with TFL works on Victoria Station expansion and the Victoria Circle development described by developers as "a spectacular 910,000 sq ft mix of retail, residential, office and public amenity space."
Four pubs have closed and numerous other building are being demolished. The Duke of York is rumoured to reopen at the end of all the building work.
HAYMARKET WC2 - HAND & RACQUET
The name originates from the long gone nearby Royal tennis courts (of King Charles 2).Tony Hancock and his writers were regulars at this pub and it was even named in his Hancocks Half Hour programme. Tommy Cooper and Sid James also enjoyed a drink here. This ex pub was recently squatted by a group called The Really Free School who also squatted a £6m house owned by Guy Ritchie, the film director.Described by the Daily Telegraph as "middle class squatters, a ragtag bunch of up to 40 activists and undergraduates,"Apparently the squatted pub it was used for film screenings, workshop & lessons.
WEST BROMPTON - The Tournament
The Tournament in 2010
Built in 1964 on the site of the Richmond Arms. This part of the Old Brompton Rd was previously called Richmond Road. Deep Purple and Rainbow bassist Roger Glover lived in the Richmond Arms when he was a boy when his parents were landlords and he used to sneak downstairs to watch live skiffle bands in the bar.
The Tournament was once home to the Laughing Horse Comedy Club which is still running nights elsewhere. The pub closed around 2010 when I took the photo (left) amid rumours of it reopening. Now in 2013 there is no sign of reopening as a pub. It was quite a good meeting place for people getting off at West Brompton station and heading off to Earls Court, Stamford Bridge or Brompton Cemetetery. In 2011 outside the closed pub was the meeting point for a protest against a Miss World Contest taking place down the road at Earls Court.
SMITHFIELDS EC1 - SMITHFIELDS
This pub was among the earliest to open in the capital - 5am, to cater for the market workers. The pub displayed many photos of butchers. This was home for a Sunday club called Heavenly Social & featured DJ sets by Chemical Brothers & Death in Vegas. Rob Williams writes to Derelict London: "I was the last manager of this pub and it is a total scandal that the landlords (Corporation of London) killed it off by not renewing the lease so they can "redevelop" the site. Five and a half years on and it's still there - empty. *******s - that was the best job I've had!"
CLERKENWELL - PERCY ARMS
This pub is in Percy Circus. Lenin once lived in Percy Circus as did Tony Hadley from Spandau Ballet who still has family around here. In the 1960's he worked in the hotel round the corner which is now a Travelodge. Perhaps he nipped into the Percy Arms for a quick stout when walking home from work...
VAUXHALL SE11 - THE GEORGE AND DRAGON
Set in the middle of a housing estate this was the only pub in London to have its own swimming pool!
BERMONDSEY - VALENTINE AND ORSON
A pub of this name originally built in the 1850's stood just down the road and It looks to have been re-built at this spot in the 1960's.. The name comes from a medieval story of two brothers separated at birth, one raised at court and the other by a bear in the forest. However in the pubs final days it was simply called Valentines. Its been closed for a few years now - the first pic was soon after closure while the signs were still intact. Since then the building has been boarded and bricked up though someone is still going in there via a makeshift entrance to crawl through created by a small hole in the wall round the back garden. The garden was overgrown and strewn with rubbish and through the hole I could spy loads of empty beer cans and grubby mattreses and didnt smell too sweet either... The last picture here is the most recent - note the emergence of the Shard in the background.
BLOOMSBURY WC1 - BULL AND MOUTH
"Bull and Mouth" derives from the Battle of Boulogne Mouth of 1544 during Henry V111's reign. Originally the Bull & Mouth, the name was changed to the Falkland Arms after the 1982 war, but reverted back to the Bull & Mouth in 1998. The pub is now long gone and is now the Ah King Chinese Restaurant. The pub staged folk gigs in the 1970's. A live album was recorded at the pub: "Saturday Night At The Bull & Mouth" - a vinyl LP featuring songs written and sung by Peggy Seeger and Ewan MacColl (Kirsty's dad!).
MARYLEBONE - THE BARLEY MOW
Built in 1791 and a listed building. It was originally a farmer’s pub. The landlord must have been short of funds as part of the bar was converted into a licensed pawnbrokers. The two small cubicles to the side of the bar which were used as the pawnbroker’s shop are the remaining evidence of this.
Good news story here as the pub has now reopened (as a pub without any major changes/refurbishments)
FARRINGDON EC1 - BABUSHKA BAR (formerly The Mynt Rooms)
Quite a trendy vodka bar repossessed by the bailiffs. Great building on the outside and characterless inside. Now a branch of Boots.
COVENT GARDEN WC2 - MARQUIS OF GRANBY
Built on the site of the old Hole In The Wall. There was a framed picture inside describing its history, while its menu beared the legend 'Famous for a Highwayman and a Hole in the Wall... '"This particular 'Marquis Of Granby' is said to be the site where the notorious highwayman Claude Duval was captured, drunk, in 1670 armed with three pistols and a sword. At this time the pub was knows as the Hole In The Wall and the landlady was Mother Maberley, mistress to George, Duke of Buckingham."
The pub has now repainted light green and black, re-opened and renamed The Marquis though looks pretty sanitised now with a distinct lack of drinkers. It cant be the area as the adjacent Harp and Chandos pubs are always packed.
MOORGATE (ST ALPHAGE HIGHWALK) - THE PODIUM AND THE PLOUGH
Two pubs closed down a while back to make way for development which I believe is all on hold now due to the recession.
FITZROVIA W1- THE WINDMILL
Was a great little pub hidden away off Tottenham Court Road - cheap beer,food, punk rock jukebox and the perfect place to watch the footie scores on Saturday afternoons. I was actually meeting some people here for a beer when I realised it had shut down so an impromptu photo sesh took place.
CHINA TOWN W1 - THE POLAR BEAR
This was the West End's first entirely non-smoking pub. Shut down in Autumn 06 and now reopened as The Ku Bar.
KENSINGTON - RADNOR ARMS
Despite the "wet paint" warning and the "still a real pub" on the sign it closed down in 2007. Described by Fancyapint as "A true local in an area where you wouldn't necessary expect one, the quality beers, cheery regulars - and a whole menagerie – add up to one of the most pleasant pub-going experiences in London."
ST GEORGES CIRCUS,SE1 - THE DUKE OF CLARENCE
This pub has been derelict since the 1980's though in recent years there has been some building work on the block of buildings that this old pub is situated on. The boards on the ground floor are painted to disguise the dereliction this there are posters in the windows by squatters in protest at the building, now owned by London South Bank University, being left empty for so long.
The Duke of Clarence was built about 1820 and is a listed building on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register. Shortly before its closure, the pub was known for its popular go-go dancers entertainment.
Apologies but I took this picture late at night
BOROUGH, SE1 - THE WHEATSHEAF
This is the first time that I have seen a pub with a "we have moved" sign. The Wheatsheaf pub in January 2009 as work on the long-awaited Thameslink viaduct through Borough Market gets under way. Over the next few years a new viaduct will be built through Borough Market to relieve congestion at this longstanding rail bottleneck as part of the expansion of the north-south Thameslink rail network.
BERMONDSEY - QUEENS HEAD
COVENT GARDEN - GREEN MAN & FRENCH HORN
Not sure why this popular pub in this lively area closed down a couple of years ago. There is some building work going on upstairs and hopefully the pub will reopen again sometime.
Covent Garden Life website says its "Reputed to have been two separate pubs in the past, the Green Man and the French Horn, these were seamlessly joined many years ago to create the present establishment. " Well judging by the narrow frontage the two pubs must have backed onto each other which figures as apparently the pub goes back quite a long way inside.
A View London reviewer said "There is an extremely good looking, intelligent and very witty Welsh barman. I am as straight as they come and even I fancied him. I would definitely recommend a visit but would not bring your girlfriends/wives/daughters with this geezer behind the bar, otherwise you are going to be left sitting alone, because there is not a woman alive who could resist this guy. Phwoar!"
SHOREDITCH - THE FOUNDRY
A gallery and pub in a redundant bank building that for more than a decade served as a focal point for the area's alternative art scene, is set to be demolished after the site's owners drew up plans for an 18-storey hotel and retail complex. The planned redevelopment, part of the Art'otel chain, will also incorporate gallery and retail space and a spa. The council has approved plans to pull down the building which housed the ramshackle space close to the edge of the City, despite protests from the gallery's founders that it performed a vital artistic function in the London borough.
The council has also specified its intention for the "safe removal and retention of Banksy art work" – a six-metre high painting of a rat with a knife and fork over which the building's owners have constructed a protective wooden covering.
The Foundry was a place where any artist, regardless of experience, could exhibit free of charge. The bar was run really to just cover the costs of the gallery. I attended a few ramshackle but entertaining spoken word nights down here.
HOXTON - THE UNICORN
This location just squeezes into zone 1. A beautiful pub in quite a trendy area for some types these days but unfortunately its closed and been converted into a pizza place