Roundhouse

The Roundhouse
Lodge Avenue
Becontree
RM8 2HY

Although this pub is not a listed building it is also mentioned in Basil Oliver's The Renaissance of the English Public House where he says of it that it was designed by A. W. Blomfield and has "an ingenious plan". Mr Oliver also says that it had "an Indoor Bowling Green which must surely be unique." A plan of the pub can also be seen on p.112 of F. S. Yorke's The Planning and Equipment of Public Houses.

The pub is also one of London's Real Heritage Pubs and the description is as follows:
"This daunting pub near the western edge of the vast Becontree Estate was built in 1936. It has a most unusual design, the work of specialist pub architect, Alfred W Blomfield. As the name suggests the ground plan is round and on top of this there sits a T-shaped upper storey with a bulky square tower in the centre.

This is a classic example of the large inter-war pubs that went up on housing estates to serve great swathes of housing and provide extensive facilities - and not just for alcohol drinkers. This one had a tea room and a wing containing an indoor bowling green.

Blomfield also provided a huge oval lounge at the rear and this still survives but with a cut-through to the adjacent room at the front. This in turn is separated by a wall from the rest of the pub where one can still get some sense of the original spaces. The fittings, apart from some sub-Art Deco wall panelling, are largely replacements.

History nearby: the Becontree Estate is a phenomenon, albeit a pretty grim one. In 1919 the London County Council was allowed to build outside the old county of London and plans were drawn up to accommodate 120,000 people in 24,000 terraced houses on what was then Essex agricultural land. By 1935 the scheme was officially complete and 167,000 people had been housed. Further development took place after World War II."


The Regional Inventory descriptions in these notes are extracts from the following book
London Heritage Pubs: An Inside Story

The Roundhouse was featured on the LPG pub crawl of Ilford, Goodmayes, Becontree and Barking in October 2012.