When A Giraffe Lived Behind A North London Pub

Harry Rosehill
By Harry Rosehill Last edited 85 months ago

Last Updated 20 June 2017

When A Giraffe Lived Behind A North London Pub
Composite: Derek Keats and author

The Pineapple is a quality Kentish Town boozer. It dates all the way back to the 1850s and was saved from destruction by a vociferous local campaign at the turn of the millennium. It's also a signifier of London's obsession with an expensive tropical fruit. Lesser known however, is that once it had a rather unlikely neighbour.

In the 1890s London Zoo acquired a giraffe named Zara. There's little info out there on this long-necked African beauty, except about her residence. For some reason — it's unclear why — The Zoo didn't have anywhere for Zara to live. Decimus Burton's famous giraffe house — still standing today — had been built in the 1830s, but perhaps it already had too many long-necked residents, and there was no room for Zara.

The zoo discovered a solution in the block behind The Pineapple, with empty stables big enough to fit Zara. We pity any drunk punters wandering out at night only to stumble upon a giraffe.

"I saw a giraffe. I really did."

"Course you did mate, course you did."

Unfortunately we couldn't find any photographic evidence of her Kentish Town stay, so we got our talented team of artists to put together accurate recreations of Zara outside her temporary home.

Composite from author's own image and Greg Willis