Destroying UK's oldest gay pub 'unthinkable'

By Emily Sutherland

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Royal vauxhall tavern Boris johnson Bar

Destroying UK's oldest gay pub 'unthinkable'
Prominent architects have added their voices to the call to save the UK’s oldest gay pub the Royal Vauxhall Tavern and described destroying it as ‘unthinkable.’

The group urged Historic England to approve an application to turn the pub into a listed building only weeks after London Mayor Boris Johnson also argued it should be saved.

One of the group, architect and professor Nigel Coates said: “An island of dignity in the whirling indifferent interchange that is Vauxhall, the Royal Vauxhall Tavern is a poignant reminder of the architectural elegance that characterised much of 19th century London. The possibility of its destruction is unthinkable, both from the architectural point of view and for its enduring popularity as an alternative venue.”

Concerns were raised after the pub, which was built in 1863, was sold to developers Immovate last year.

Campaigner Rob Holley, who runs the pub’s Push the Button night, told the Publican’s Morning Advertiser: ​“The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is an icon for London and for the gay community. All the big names have performed there and a lot of people know about the venue. People are angry about the redevelopment of London.”

“Gay pubs and venues are part of the fabric of London and without them London will turn into a very boring place where everything looks the same.”

The last year has seen a wave of closures to famous LGBT pubs, including Camden’s the Black Cap, Madame Jojo’s in Soho and the Joiners Arms in Hackney. 

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