London’s Lost Pubs: A Photographic Guide

As though fulfilling some latter-day punishment from the Olympian gods, Richard Bulch has visited almost 500 London pubs without touching a single drop of alcohol. His mission is to photograph every closed-down pub in the capital, a task that’s seen him trek to all corners of town over the past decade.

His battery of bygone boozers can be viewed over on Flickr. Pubs close for a number of reasons, including the increased cost of drinking out and the rise of large chains. Many have been converted into shops, housing and restaurants, while others languish in dereliction. We’ve picked out a few highlights above, including a full rainbow of disused pubs and some architectural gems.

Do check out the full roll-call of defunct drinking dens, and suggest any that Richard might have missed.


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  • Anonymous

    Should owners of pub to residential conversions be required to provide liquid refreshments to the public? When I walk past “The Albion” at the intersection of Malvern Road and Albion Drive (E8), I always get thirsty.

  • Tony Brooks

    I remember refurbishing the Marquis back in the 80s – such a shame…

  • Anonymous

    The smoking ban is the main cause of those closures. People have never gone to a pub for a cheap drink, but to socialise. The majority of regular drinkers are/were smokers so we must push for an exemption to the ban to stop further closures.

    • Scout London

      A few major reasons are: location, major breweries stranglehold on the market, and cheap supermarket booze

      • Anonymous

        When did people go to a pub for cheap drinks? They go to pubs to socialise and most regulars were smokers, but since the ban many smokers now drink at home where they can enjoy a cigarette/cigar with their drink.

  • popjoy

    many of these pubs closed long before the smoking ban

    • Mummy Best

      Most closed after.  I have lived near quite a few of these pubs and been in most of the locals.  They were buzzing up until 4 years ago.

      Nobody I know bothers to go to the pub any more (we can afford to but choose not to).  To be forced to stand outside to smoke like a leper is a disgrace especially to older folk.

      Would it be too much to ask that there are 25% of licenced premises that allow smoking ?  After all that represents the percentage of smokers in the country.

  • Guest

    You might want to choose a better picture given that The Salmon and Compass is very much alive and kicking, though now just called The Compass. 

    • Anonymous

      Actually, I think it’s good to stand, as an example of a pub that was closed at the time of the photo and has since been recalled to life. I’ll simply amend the caption.

  • Tomás Seosamh Ó Ceallaigh

    Wonderful selection of pictures. Always sad to see a closed-down pub.

  • Kake
    • Anonymous

      Wow, thanks for sharing that. I wonder if the two photographers have ever met for a phantom pint.

  • Bobbydazzler100

    How come most of thse pubs are in north/east london. maybe its to do with the people who have moved there and how the pubs were run. more to do with that than the smoking ban. a poor pub is a poor pub and deserves to be shut down!

  • Caroline Bottomley

    New legislation – Assets of Community Value – allow local people to keep community buildings alive/resurrected. Has been successfuly applied to at least one pub so far.