What’s going on with The Crown Pub rebuild?

Detail from the Crown Pub Blackheath planning documents sent to Lewisham council
I’ve been a bit lax in not mentioning the redesign of The Crown Pub, as noted in the comments to an unrelated ovine-post:

I always read this excellent blog with great interest, but I can’t believe that one thing has gone without comment on these pages. I went into the village last night for a pint only to find that my regular watering hole The Crown was a building site. It looks very much as if they have ripped out the lovely bay windows (with the two big leather seats) and are replacing them with a flat wall and french doors. How can they be allowed to change the face of such an old and surely protected building so much!?
Yours,
Shocked of Charlton on the 380 bus route

Above is a detail from the planning permission documents at Lewisham Council. Interestingly the original plans for two “jumbobrellas” at the front were withdrawn after 21 complaints were made (I’ve no idea if these two events are related). See the a drawing from the original submission below:

Crown Pub planning drawing from a previous withdrawn request

The Crown Pub Blackheath in its current state

Above is a photo from today, where you can see that the bay windows have been removed to make way for wider openable doors. Which I can’t help feeling might make it feel brighter and more appealing, particularly in the summer.

Neil Rhind in his excellent book Blackheath Village and Environs Volume 1 dates it back to at least 1773 (the first record of a licensee), with a building having been present on the same site during the John Rocque survey of 1741-1746. I had a look at the map here, but couldn’t see it. If anyone with better eyes can, please send me the details! UPDATE: Found it.

Neil points out that it has undergone many renovations during its lifetime, starting out as a building “only three doors wide, with a round-headed door at the entrance”. (page 99).

It’s never been my favourite pub in the area though… Who knows, maybe the improvements will change that… If they re-instate the pole climbing competition of 1892, where a leg of mutton was attached to the top of the pub sign post, I’d definitely come along to watch!

22 Comments

Filed under blackheath, planning, pubs

22 responses to “What’s going on with The Crown Pub rebuild?

  1. Ed

    Let’s hope it aims to attract a crowd similiar to princess of Wales …

  2. Many thanks for the update and posting the plans. It does seem strange to me that they were allowed to get rid of the bay windows, but…

  3. Pingback: Dowager’s Bottom | The Blackheath Bugle

  4. Char

    Considering the slope one finds oneself on when sitting on ost tables outside the Crown I’d have thought those massive brollies would have been at risk of ending up inside the pub!

  5. Paul

    I was talking to the Landlord of the Crown on Saturday (he’s over at the Spanish Galleon in Greenwich at the moment). It officially opening up again on the 9th April ’11. They are openning up the 1st Floor so it should be twice at big. Hopefully they level out the garden while there at it…

  6. ThePirateKing

    The Crown doesn’t seem to have reopened on the 9th.

    Anyone know the new date??

    • Ginger Prince

      I spoke to one of the builders outside the site at the weekend and he said it is due to reopen tomorrow (Thursday) ready for Easter. He said there are big changes inside.

  7. Smunkyvic

    Just called the brewery, apparently it will now be reopening on 26th April…

  8. ThePirateKing

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Happy Easter. :)

  9. Colin

    I went up this afternoon at 1.30 (28th) and the front was still being laid down. Any further news?

  10. Nigel, Nigel, Nigel…… (last comment above mine)…. your idea of fantastic and anybody else’s may not be quite the same. So could you amplify a bit, please?

    I assume that you’re a lover of real pubs as otherwise you’d probably not be contributing to this thread. But these days a frightening number of sane people’s definition of a fantastic pub is a plastic paradise with muzak, open plan instead of nooks and crannies, tinted glass and mirrors instead of olde English wood and, of course, the obligatory snarling Slovakian bar staff.

    As a lover of real pubs who can only venture out occasionally (I’m looking after a sick relative) and who is looking forward to The Crown staying real in spite of its ominous revamp, I’d really like to know if I’ve got anything to look forward to. Have I?

    Over to you, Nige……

    • Anonymous

      It’s plastic, noisy and expensive – a true modern pub. What more could you want?

    • ND

      yes nige, looking forward to hearing your response to this long-winded and moderately aggressive post. what have you got to say for yourself? – be careful now, or you may set him off again!

  11. Jon Lee

    Bit harsh there Anonymous. There is still a comfy sofa in the corner and the tables are decent wooden things. The place is a little sterile looking for my liking but on the whole I think they have done a pretty good job. It could have been a lot worse.

  12. Barn

    It’s much better than before but it does have a pub chain feel to it.

  13. Well, it looks like The Innit generation have won the battle of The Crown by a short head. Not a short head of real or real-ish beer. Ho Ho.

    A shame, if true. But I shall check it out when I’m no longer housebound.

    Note to self, [see ND, above]. Must not be long-winded or moderately aggressive.

  14. Has anyone read the Crown History Board? Apart from a surfeit of apostrophes (or should that be apostrophe’s?) their is a mysterious reference to the original owners as Barclay Peking. Perhaps the sign writer was feeling like a Sun Bo take away, but I think Barclay Perkins is nearer the mark? Or perhaps Shepherd Neame is having a private joke at the expense of what eventually became the late Courage?

  15. Ok, I so I can’t spell either.

  16. KevinAitchison

    I lived in Tranquil Vale in the late 60s and early 70sThe Crown then wasa Courage pub,a really good place to drink,good atmosphere and really good nibbles on a Sunday lunch time session,The managervwas John an Irishman,and there was a barman called # Shaun who I seem to recall married the barmaid.We (3 KiwisKevin John and Lionel,an Irishman Johnand and a Scotsman Drew)if in those days the place was going to close “refurbishment” all hell would have broke loose,yes those were the days as Mary Hpkin so eloquently sang.Sad aren’t ?

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