Prince of Wales – Hartfield Road, SW19

The Prince of Wales, scene of celebration and much happiness after several pivotal matches in the short but successful existence of AFC Wimbledon.   Major celebrations occurred after the win over H&R at the Beveree, and the win over Staines in the play off final.

The Prince of Wales, Hartfield Road, SW19

The Prince of Wales was a 17th century coaching inn, supposedly used for rest and relaxation by Dick Turpin during his highway-man years.  The current pub building dates from aound 1870, and became known as the Prince of Wales after 1891 when 20,000 British soldiers were paraded before the Kaiser on Wimbledon Common.

The Prince of Wales has a tiled step which has seen better times.

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Fox & Anchor – Smithfield Market

Fox & Anchor – Charterhouse Street

The impressive mosaic step lets you know exactly where you are planning to spend your evening.  The Fox and Anchor pub in Charterhouse Street has been around for quite some time.  The current building dates from the 1890’s, although the records show that the pub has existed at this location for a couple of centuries.  Here is what it looked like before the re-build.  (British History)

Nowadays, there is a good deal of ceramic work decorating the pubs frontage which was made by Doultons in Lambeth.  Theres plenty of information on Doultons as the family business originally based in Lambeth evolved into the well known bone china company we know of today.  There is a potted history of the Doultons ceramic business here.  That page contains a whole section on the fairly humble beginning of Doultons in Lambeth.

A ceramic gargoyle detail from the current Fox and Anchor.

One of the Doulton designed and manufactured ceramic Gargoyles


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Bleeding London

I heard of the Bleeding London project from a tweet on the Londonist account.  It is a project to photograph every street in London.  They describe it as follows ….

Inspired by Geoff Nicholson’s Whitbread short-listed novel Bleeding London, in which a character named Stuart London walks the complete length and breadth of London, the project aims to collect at least one photograph from every street in the capital – all 73,000 of them – by 31st October 2014.

The home page for the RPS Bleeding London site is here.

Currently, my favourite photo is this one.  Although I also like the one below.   It’s mine in case you wondered.

The location is Surrey Steps, an odd little location between the Strand and the Embankment.  There are the remains of a Roman Bath, but it’s all quite hard to locate as Surrey Steps are padlocked closed a lot of the time.  Access can be gained from Strand Lane.  Strand Lane looks like the back entrance to a Hotel or the University or something, but be brave and just walk up there.  More on the Roman Baths here.

Surrey Steps


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The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street

I walk past the Viaduct Tavern on Newgate Street most weekdays.  As I pass the Old Bailey and cross the junction into Giltspur Street I noticed the mosiac doorway containing the name of the pub, and it got me wondering …  “How many pubs ever had these mosaics, and how many still exist?”

The mosaic step on Giltspur Street

I was sure that I’d seen a number of pubs with them, but then as I started to hunt them down I realised that there were not as many as I thought.  What I did find was a variation on the theme with a number of pubs having decoratively tiled doorways.

I reckon there must have been an era when tiles or mosaics in pub doorways were the height of fashion.  Or maybe they were a mark of a bit of a fancy establishment.  Afterall The Viaduct isn’t a beer and sawdust place.  In it’s day it was a bit of a Gin Palace, and even today it offers a sizable range of speciality and flavoured Gin, with tasting sessions for connoisseurs.

The Viaduct was built in 1897, some 5 years before the demolition of Newgate Prison.  Here is how it looked back then.  Despite looking really hard I cannot tell if the mosaic was around at this time.

The Viaduct Tavern in 1897

By way of a thanks to the Viaduct Tavern for getting me started on this thing, here is a link to their details.

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