North London

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Hampstead’s infamous pub wins local CAMRA award

Monday 15 August 2022

Many pubs have macabre stories associated them and the Magdala near Hampstead Heath Station is certainly in that bracket!

The pub is infamous for its association with Ruth Ellis, the last woman hanged in England, for shooting her lover to death outside the pub on Easter Sunday 1955. However, its latest claim to fame, as the winner of CAMRA’s North London Pub of the Season, is a lot more positive.

Colin Coyne presents the Award to Rob Chappell and his team.

Colin Coyne, Chair of North London CAMRA, said ‘This pub was closed for at least five years and we were concerned that it would never open again. This is despite the efforts of locals to get the pub listed as an Asset of Community Value. The new owners, Twickenham Green Taverns, are experienced pub owners. They have really invested in this pub, which dates back to the inter war years. It has included a careful restoration of the wooden panelling throughout the ground floor bar and dining areas. The new sections of wood blend with the original panelling in the bar area at the back of the pub. It’s resulted in a lovely looking establishment with a range of terrific well kept beer. It really is a pleasure to give them this award for all their hard work”.

Rob Chappell and his team accepted the award in August. He said “We are delighted to have received this award. We have only been going a year and we are grateful for all the support CAMRA has given us”.

In 2014, this dog friendly pub was sold by Punch to an offshore property developer and its future became threatened. Local activists succeeded in getting it listed as an Asset of Community Value. It re-opened briefly in summer 2015 but soon closed again.

The association with Ruth Ellis is not the only association with famous people. The pub’s first incarnation was in 1885 and it was named after Robert Cornelis Napier, 1st Baron Napier of Magdala, who died five years after the pub was built. He held many high profile posts including Commander-in-Chief, India; Governor of Gibraltar and has associations with London. Two years after the pub was built, he became Constable of the Tower of London. He died in 1890 and is buried in St Paul’s Cathedral.

So an interesting local, named after an interesting man with lots of interesting committed locals who are intent (as CAMRA is) in seeing a healthy future for this pub.

For further details contact: Colin Coyne (CAMRA) 07973 831082, ku.gro.armac.nodnolhtron@namriahc. Magada: 020 7433 8322, ku.oc.aladgameht@olleh