‘Culturally distinct’ Victorian pubs endangered

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Under threat: a Croydon pub has been included on a list of ‘endangered’ Victorian-era buildings
Under threat: a Croydon pub has been included on a list of ‘endangered’ Victorian-era buildings

Related tags: Victorian era

A derelict south London pub has been included on a list of endangered Victorian buildings as heritage campaigners say sites from this period are under threat.

The Leslie Arms in Croydon was featured on the Victorian Society’s ‘top 10 most endangered buildings list’.

It is an arts and crafts-style venue and was built in the 1850s by an unknown architect, but has been closed for several years.

Victorian Society director Christopher Costelloe said the pub’s sorry state was symptomatic of a wider crisis facing pubs from this era.

He said: “Victorian pubs are closing all over the country and it is no surprise that this year there is one on our top 10 endangered list. A particularly intractable case, this is a building of great quality where continued pub use should be viable. The right owner is needed.”

This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 for its special architectural or historic interest.

Costelleo told The Morning Advertiser​ the charity was fighting to save Victorian pubs all over the country in its bid to preserve the architecture of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

He said: “The UK’s Victorian pubs are a hugely varied group of buildings, from the great London gin palaces down to very humble buildings. What makes them great is their cultural distinctiveness, and their place at the heart of the communities they represent, as places for people to come together and enjoy themselves.

“The society gets notified about threats to demolish listed pubs, and also hears from members of the public worried about the demolition of Victorian and Edwardian pubs in their area. We have campaigned to save pubs all over the country, in tandem with local groups. 

“Our focus tends to be on the architecture, but it is clear that there is no future for pubs without strong local interest.”

Plea for action

Griff Rhys Jones, president of the charity, said the list, which includes a disused coal mine in Staffordshire and a Gothic country mansion in Norfolk, should be taken as a call to arms.

He explained: “It is both inspiring and saddening to see this list. Who would have thought that a call to arms would reveal such a wealth of distinguished and absorbing architecture? From libraries to pubs to gorgeous theatres – these are gems.

“We are not looking at the second rate here. We are looking at real historical monuments and yet we can only be taken aback. 

“All of these historic sites are glorious and imaginative places ready for a new and productive life. How incredible that should feature on the Top 10 Endangered Buildings list. Let us hope that people spring into action and pay attention.” 

Related topics: Property law

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