Help! Pub In Peril: Save The Wenlock Arms

By Londonist Last edited 164 months ago

Last Updated 17 September 2010

Help! Pub In Peril: Save The Wenlock Arms

Following months of speculation and rumours of a sale, the staff of The Wenlock Arms confirmed to reader Tessa Norton on Wednesday that the pub is to be demolished. We quested after beer there and Fancyapint love them. Here's Tessa's plea to help save this classic back street boozer.

By cakehole via the Londonist Flickrpool
If you haven’t been to the Wenlock, to say that it’s a classic pub with an astonishing selection of real ales is scarcely adequate. It’s London’s best pub, and if it dies it will break my heart.

You’ll find it just off City Road. The most fun way to get to it is by marching across a garage forecourt and clambering over the fence of the drive-thru McDonalds, but you can also stroll down Wharf Road by Victoria Miro if you like. Inside, it’s always the Blitz. I’ve never once been bored by a conversation in the Wenlock.

Our campaign has heard that it’s got until October, November maybe. Details are sketchy. Planning applications exist for the surrounding area, but not for the site of the pub - but CAMRA point to loopholes that suggest that you don’t necessarily need planning permission to demolish a pub.

A friend said to me “if it was a middle class pub, it would stand more chance”. I know what he means - there’s no duck liver parfait in the Wenlock - but the thing is, it is a middle class pub. It’s also a working class pub, and an artists’ pub, and a builders’ pub, and more besides. It’s for everyone. The success of The Charles Lamb, the Southampton Arms, the Gunmakers and the Jolly Butchers shows that real ale and professional customers aren’t mutually exclusive. The Wenlock Arms should be an asset to Wenlock Road, and to London. It's possible that whoever's bought it doesn't realise that it's not just any old scruffy boozer. Our job is to let them know that it’s much more than that. If any pub is at the heart of London, it’s this one.

We’re speaking to CAMRA, Hackney Council, English Heritage and as many interested journalists and organisations as we can manage. If you want to help, we urge you to do the same. But above all, tell your friends. And make sure you go for a pint this weekend and find out for yourself why this campaign is so important.

By Tessa Norton

For more information, visit or find us on Twitter @savewenlockarms