Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Ivy House PH, Peckham - EH Listing

Ivy House, Nunhead, SE15
Photo by Ewan Munro at Flickr

It was very noticeable that many of the people who retweeted the link to my Royal Albert post had previously tweeted links concerning the Ivy House PH, Stuart Road, Peckham. Although there were a couple of mentions on blogs and facebook that the pub had been listed it took a bit of time drilling into the English Heritage database to find the listing. I have therefore set out the List Entry Summary below (the original EH entry can be found here.)

Listing does not however guarantee that the building re-opens as a pub / venue. It makes it much harder for the site owners to alter the property externally, and in this case internally.

It is important that people keep an eye on the premises, ensuring that the property is secure and that there are no build ups of rubbish etc. The listing mentions some of the bands that played there in the 1970s, when it was still the Newlands Tavern, but there must still  be people around who went to dances or other entertainments in the 50s or 60s. Grandad's tales of the 1950s might not seem that exciting to you, but building up a broader picture of the Pub's history all helps in protecting its future - so if one or more of your grandparents went there: get the story written down and share it in the comments box below or on the facebook page Save the Ivy House. If you can afford the books mentioned at the bottom of the listing, then buy them. If you have copies of reviews of or advertisements for gigs at the Newlands, then scan them and upload them to facebook, or email them to me.

Efforts are being made to re-open the pub as some sort of community enterprise and updates are appearing on the facebook page. (I note that there is a link to the listing on that fb page, but I did miss it before) I will have a dig around in census returns and Victorian newspapers to see if I can establish when the pub was originally built, who ran it and worked there and if anything notable happened. I will share that at a future date.

South London Press interview with Reg and Sue Fentiman, who ran the pub when Graham Parker, Ian Dury et al played there in the 1970s: here

Peckham Rye Labour - ward councillors blog with mentions of the Ivy House: here, here and here.

Transpontine: Save the Ivy House

South East Central: The Ivy House Closing


List Entry Summary

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

Name: The Ivy House public house

List Entry Number: 1408530

Location: The Ivy House, 40 Stuart Road, Nunhead, London, SE15 3BE

County: Greater London Authority
District: Southwark
District Type: London Borough

Grade: II
Date first listed: 20-Apr-2012

List Entry Description

Summary of Building

Public house. 1930s designed by AE Sewell for Truman's Brewery.

Reasons for Designation

The Ivy House, formerly the Newlands Tavern, 40 Stuart Road, Nunhead, a 1930s public house designed by AE Sewell is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
  • Degree of survival: an unusually high level of surviving original features and fittings form a largely complete1930s interior, now relatively rare, which illustrates the style, layout and features once typical of a suburban 'improved' pub;
  • Interior interest: wide range of good quality fittings on a consistent architectural theme including signage, fireplaces, bar counters and screens, tiled spittoon troughs, wooden panelling, coloured glazing, decorative plaster plaques, and hall with stage and Jacobethan style refreshment room;
  • Architectural interest: designed for a major brewery by a notable pub architect with a smart neo-Georgian frontage and idiosyncratic detailing.


The original pub on this site, the Newlands Tavern, was apparently built in the late 1870s or early 1880s and is first shown on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map from 1898. This was a two-storey building with a courtyard to the rear. In the 1930s, the owners, Truman, Hanbury, Buxton and Co, rebuilt the building, most likely to plans by their in-house architect AE Sewell who was responsible for numerous Truman’s pubs built or remodelled in the inter-war period. The lease the brewery signed with Edgar William Rhodes in 1922 expired in 1936 so it may be that the pub was rebuilt then. The pub was originally adjoined to the east by a parade of shops which was destroyed by a V1 flying-bomb in July 1944. During the ‘pub-rock’ boom of the mid-1970s, the Newlands Tavern was one of the major pub venues in South London and hosted early incarnations of many bands and performers who later rose to fame including Ian Dury, Elvis Costello, Joe Strummer and Dr Feelgood. The pub was later renamed the Stuart Arms before becoming The Ivy House.


MATERIALS: mixed red and brown brick in Flemish bond with concrete or Portland Stone dressings with an overhanging, hipped tile roof to the central block and flat roofs with parapets to the wings.

EXTERIOR: designed in a neo-Georgian style, the building has a symmetrical front elevation of five bays, consisting of a three bay, three-storey, central block flanked by slightly projecting single bay, two-storey wings. To the rear a single-storey range contains the rear bar/refreshment room and the hall. On the front elevation the upper floors have horned sash windows with glazing bars in square openings. The first-floor windows have gauged brick arches, except for the central window which is set in a taller semi-circular headed arch with scallop decoration in the tympanum. The lintels of the second-floor windows are formed by the continuous broad concrete cornice. The large windows in the end bays of the ground floor are treated differently with irregular quoins and broad heads bearing plaques with the Truman logo continuous with a broad platband. The pair of entrances adjoining these bays have timber frames topped by square plaques, supported by volutes and bearing carriage lamps, and are surrounded by glazed screens. The rear of the building with its assortment of flat roofs has a mixture of original sash windows and uPVC replacements.

INTERIOR: consists of two front bars (the western bar has been converted to staff accommodation), the eastern bar giving access to a large hall to the rear. Adjoining this to the west is a rear bar which would originally have been a refreshment room. All three bars and the hall were served from a central service area and kitchen. The eastern front bar (originally the saloon bar) retains its dado height panelling, glazed entrance lobby, moulded stone fire surround, glazed multi-pane screen to the hall and original bench seating. The cornice of the panelling bears original incised gold lettering bearing the legends ‘BURTON – TRUMANS – LONDON’ over the fireplace, ‘BEN TRUMAN’ over the entrance to the men’s toilets, ‘IMPERIAL STOUT’,’ BURTON BREWED BITTER’ and ‘TRUBROWN ALE’ over the hall screen, and ‘TRUMANS EAGLE ALES’ near the front entrance). The curved bar counter is original and has the brown and white chequered tile spittoon trough which was a feature of 1930s Truman’s pubs. The panels over the bar counter are probably original but the bar back is modern. The men’s toilet retains its original white tiling.

The large hall is also panelled to dado height and has a stage at the northern end. This appears to retain its proscenium arch beneath later stage dressings. The hall has an original stone fire surround, bar counter with chequered tile spittoon trough, glazed double entrance doors from the front bar and recessed double doors to the refreshment room with an Art Deco style surround.

The refreshment room/rear bar is decorated in a Jacobethan style with a timbered ceiling and decorative painted plaster plaques, animals, birds and ships above dado height panelling. These bear a resemblance to the plaster decoration on the exterior of the Railway Hotel, Edgware by the same architect. The room has an inglenook in the west wall with a stone fire surround, built-in settles (one having lost its arm rest) and pair of windows with a coloured glass chevron design. The north wall has a large multi-pane arched window with some original coloured glass and an exit to the rear courtyard. The bar is original with a glazed screen above at either end, again with a chevron design in coloured glass.

The western front bar has been converted to accommodation and partitioned, probably to enlarge the adjoining women’s toilet, with the consequent loss of the bar counter. To judge from the simple fireplace, this was originally the public bar and it retains some other original features such as the coloured glazing in the metal windows, cornice and picture rail but is otherwise altered. The upper floors were not inspected, but are understood to consist solely of modernized staff accommodation, and therefore unlikely to be of special interest.

Selected Sources

Book  Reference - Author: G Brandwood and J Jephcote - Title: London Heritage Pubs: an Inside Story - Date: 2008 - Page References: 49-50
Book  Reference - Author: Geoff Brandwood, Andrew Davison and Michael Slaughter - Title: Licensed To Sell: The History and Heritage of the Public House - Date: 2011
Article  Reference - Title: Iconic Pub hit right note - Date: 15 November 2011 - Journal Title: South London Press

National Grid Reference: TQ3542675046

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