North London

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Evening Pub Tour of Kilburn and Hampstead.

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Wednesday 8 December: London Pubs Group Pub Tour Evening Pub Tour of Kilburn and Hampstead.

Meet at 7pm at Carlton Tavern, 33 Carlton Vale, Kilburn, NW6 5EU;

then to include

8pm Sir Colin Campbell, 264-266 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 2BY; 8.30pm Black Lion, 274 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 2BY; 9.15pm Magdala, 2a South Hill Park, Hampstead, NW3 2SB.

Public transport will be required at times. All welcome.

LONDON PUBS GROUP Jane Jephcote moc.liamelgoog@etochpej.enaj 07813 739856 Website:


For pictures of the pubs on this tour go to the London Pubs Group website

This tour is dedicated to the memory of Dr Geoff Brandwood, pub history author and mentor extraordinaire who died suddenly and unexpectedly in November 2021. We shall raise several glasses to him along the way.

PLEASE NOTE: The second pub on this tour, the Sir Colin Campbell takes card payments only.

1) 7.00 pm Carlton Tavern, 33 Carlton Vale, Kilburn, NW6 5EU. Although this pub is not a listed building, it has quite a story to tell. It was built in 1921 and was mostly demolished (illegally) on 8 April 2015. This was the day before the pub was to be included on the statutory list at grade II. The owners were prosecuted and ordered to rebuild the pub ‘brick by brick’. Six years later (almost to the day) on 12 April 2021 the rebuilt pub reopened, 100 years after it was originally built. Before it was largely demolished the Carlton Tavern was on the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest and the description was as follows: “This attractive inter-war pub is still very much a community local in what is now a sea of drab post-war housing. The ceramic advertising fascias leave no doubt as to who built it – the major East End brewers, Charrington’s. Look out for the unusual sign down the side – ‘Carlton Luncheon and Tea Room’. The original layout is still very apparent with a large public bar on the right, a smaller, better-class saloon on the left with the single-storey ‘luncheon and tea room’ still intact behind. Each room retains its original counter and back fittings although, sadly, those in the public bar seem to have been subjected to a varnish stripper with dire results. As usual with inter-war pub fittings the details are restrained. A really attractive feature of the pub is the ceiling in the left-hand bar with its plaster foliage friezes and other decoration, now picked out in red and gold. There is similar decoration on a more modest scale in the luncheon room. Sadly most of the original window glass has been replaced. History nearby: St Augustine’s church (1870-7) is the architectural masterpiece in this area. This is one of the very greatest churches built during the Victorian Gothic revival and its architect, J L Pearson, designed Truro Cathedral (1880), Cornwall.”

This pub’s ‘R’ category is ‘Rebuilt’ for reasons mentioned above.

Three cask ales from London microbreweries are normally served here. On leaving the pub, cross over Carlton Vale and walk down the railinged alley to Kilburn Park Road. Cross over Kilburn Park Road and Rudolph Road to bus stop KC (called Rudolph Road). Catch a 316 bus to the stop called Buckley Road. Alight from the bus, turn right and walk up Kilburn High Road to the pelican crossing. Cross over Kilburn High Road to 2) 8.00 pm Sir Colin Campbell, 264-266 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 2BY. Although this pub is not a listed building, it is recognised by CAMRA as having an historic interior of some regional importance and the description is as follows: “Small two-room pub with two external doors, with external brown glazed tiles on the ground floor. It is a late Victorian three-storey building in a range along Kilburn High Street. It is a former Watneys pub with plenty of inter-war fittings, including an island bar, good quality fielded wooden wall panelling, dimpled leaded glass windows (including a set at the rear of the bar leading to the tiny “beer garden”) and a cast iron fireplace in the left-hand bar. There is a baffle by the right-hand door, but this looks to be a later addition. The two bars are connected at the rear of the servery via an archway of uncertain date. It is possible that the left-hand room was the public bar and the right-hand one the saloon as evidenced by the quality of the fittings in both rooms. There are small tables and seating along the walls. It remains a traditional Irish pub as befits its location in Kilburn.” This pub’s ‘R’ category is ‘Revived’ because it was closed for some time but reopened in early 2017. As mentioned above, only card payments are accepted here. The pub is in CAMRA’s Good Beer Guide 2022. Oakham Inferno; Purity Mad Goose; and Redemption Kazbek are normally served here. Wednesday is quiz night so if it is too busy downstairs there is additional seating upstairs. Turn right out of the pub and walk up Kilburn High Road to

3) 8.30 pm Black Lion, 274 Kilburn High Road, Kilburn, NW6 2BY. This pub is not only a grade II* listed building, it is also on CAMRA’s National Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Historic Interest and the description is as follows: “An imposing corner-site pub built in 1898 to designs by architect, R A Lewcock. It has a spacious, light interior enriched with some particularly spectacular and appealing decoration. Pride of place goes to the series of four copper relief panels by designer F. A. Callcott depicting eighteenth-century ladies and gents at leisure at the supposed antecedent of the present pub. They are variously pictured enjoying a game of bowls, drinking and smoking, watching the inn sign being painted, and taking the waters at Kilburn Wells, the spa that lay nearby to the south. There is a deep and superbly ornate Florentine frieze in both main rooms and also a richly decorated ceiling. When built the main space would have been much more subdivided than it is now but there is still one screen surviving: it was moved to its present position during a major refurbishment in 2003, before which it was at right-angles to the main road. Long, panelled bar counter and original bar-back. Fine etched windows on the side elevation but mostly sadly removed from the front. The large room on the right (now a restaurant) was originally a music room. History in the area: Kilburn used to be a minor spa. The actual site of the spa, south of the Black Lion, was where 42 Kilburn High Rad now stands – as a plaque records.” The listing description is as follows: “Public house. c1898. By RA Lewcock; interior carved panels by FT Callcott. Red brick with stone dressings. Pink & grey granite public house frontage. Slated roof. Flemish Gothic style. Rectangular plan on corner site. EXTERIOR: 3 storeys and single storey extension to right. 4 windows, bowed window angle and 4 window left hand return. Arcaded ground floor with pilasters and panelled, part-glazed double doors to main road and at angle. Etched glass to windows and doors. Upper floors with brick pilasters rising to support an entablature with projecting cornice surmounted by an arcaded balustrade with cartouches and finials to the dies. Irregular transom and mullion fenestration with a bowed bay and canted bay to 1st floor; most with scrolled pediments. Left return with 2-light casements having glazing bars to upper light; 1st floor with scrolled pediments. Bowed windows to 1st and 2nd floor angle terminating in a lantern with ogee cupola and weathervane finial. Extension with wide 4-centred arch window and arcaded balustrade with modified scroll pediment having lion mask and plaque inscribed "The Black Lion rebuilt 1898". INTERIOR: has original U-shaped bar serving 2 rooms divided by glass and wood screen; mirrored fixtures and fittings and fireplaces with mirrored overmantels. 2 main bars with deep, gilded Adam style plaster frieze, plasterwork ceiling with medallions and several gilded bas relief plaques on the walls by Callcott. Extension room lit by 3 lanterns each with deep Adam style frieze at base and similar wall frieze to bars.”

This pub’s ‘R’ category is ‘Restored’ because in July 2020, just after the pub had reopened following the first Covid lockdown, a pipe burst in one of the guest rooms on the upper floor and damaged the pub’s ornate ceiling. The ceiling has now been restored.

No real ale is served here. Turn right out of the pub and walk up Kilburn High Road to the pelican crossing near the railway bridge. Cross over Kilburn High Road, turn right and continue along Kilburn High Road to Brondesbury station. Catch a train to Hampstead Heath. On arrival, alight from the train and turn right out of the station. Cross over South Hill Park to

4) 9.15 pm Magdala, 2a South Hill Park, Hampstead, NW3 2SB. Although this pub is not a listed building, it is on CAMRA’s Regional Inventory and the description is as follows: “This pub follows the gentle curve of the street. It went up in mid-Victorian times to serve the developing neighbourhood but is included in this guide for its 1930s makeover. You can see clear signs of this outside in the buff tile facing on the ground floor and the attractive strips of glazing in the windows. The left-hand room was extended but only the bar counter survives the rest having been given a dull modern look. But on the right is a pleasant and remarkably intact room from the 1930s. The walls are elegantly panelled to half height and there is a low-key Art Deco frieze. The bar counter is panelled and follows the style of the wall panelling while the picture is completed by a Tudor-style pink marble fireplace. History on the spot: The Magdala is famous as the place where Ruth Ellis shot her abusive lover, David Blakely, on Easter Sunday 1955 and went on, after a short trial, to become the last woman to suffer capital punishment in the UK. She went to the scaffold on 18 July the same year. [Don’t be fooled by the apparent ‘bullet holes’ on the exterior of the pub. A former licensee ‘created’ them to drum up curiosity and thereby increase trade.] Pubs in the area: If it has reopened by the time of this tour and if you have time, look in at the Bell of Hampstead (formerly Cork & Bottle; G E Aldwinkle’s; originally White Horse), 154 Fleet Road, just to the south. The prominent corner-site pub of around 1900 has impressive and highly unusual enamel-panelled ceilings. On the way, the Garden Gate has a good ‘brewers’ Tudor’ exterior but has a modern interior.”

The Magdala’s ‘R’ category is ‘Restored’ because it was closed for a few years and was neglected. However, its interior was carefully restored in 2021 and it reopened in May that year. At the Magdala two cask ales from microbreweries and three real ciders and/or perries are usually served.

Dr Geoff Brandwood