Spread Eagle

71 Wandsworth High Street
SW18 2PT

Like the Falcon, this pub is not only a grade II listed building but it is also on CAMRA’s National Inventory and the description is as follows: “A lavish late-Victorian Young’s pub, rebuilt in 1898 during the great pub boom. It’s a landmark Flemish Renaissance-style three-storey building across the road from the former, much-lamented Young’s Brewery. Ground floor of polished granite with pilasters having decorative capitals and red brick upper storeys. The distinctive and attractive iron and glass canopy which projects from the main entrance across the street seems original. The interior gives a very good idea of what a classy late Victorian pub could look like with an extensive expanses of etched glass which makes the place sparkle. The left-hand public bar has entrance doors on the left and also double doors on the right hand side that was probably the former off sales ones i.e. a partition has been lost. It retains the original bar back of three bays with large mirror panels but most of the lower bar back shelves have been lost to fridges. The panelled bar counter curved on the left hand side looks the original one and there is a dart board (rare for London pubs) and pool table here. A full height timber and glazed panelled screen forms the division with the lounge on the right and still retains its door with ‘Public Bar’ etched and frosted panel; along the middle are etched mirror-glass panels with delicate ribbon and foliage motifs. The room on the right is huge and probably always was a single space (it has a staircase to the upstairs rooms, cf. the Warrington, Maida Vale); the modest vestibule looks modern. The bar back here is an extension of the mainly glazed partition but with mirror panels also reaching to the ceiling and a doorway for the staff to the public bar. Sadly, most of the lower bar back shelves have been lost to fridges. A door in the bar back leads to the original large publican's office, now used as a store room. At the rear there is an indentation in the full height screen with more impressive mirror panels including ones with floral and birds decoration. The panelled bar counter which is curved on both the left hand and right hand sides looks the original one. At the rear of the room is an attractive octagonal skylight with coloured stained glass with floral motifs, below which is a decorative plaster frieze. Down the left hand side are two short screens with ornate mirror panels depicting flowers. Three sections of fixed seating look old but re-leatheretted and a tiled, cast iron and wood surround fireplace with a real coal fire may be original. Another full height screen with lots of etched and frosted panels having floral designs along the middle row separates the lounge with another room at the rear left, which is largely newly fitted. It retains two doors both with ‘Dining Room and Lounge’ deep cut wording in them. The largish room has a bare wood floor, raised area on the left, a plain skylight and the bar counter here looks more 1970s work. There are screens in front of both toilets at the rear which have multiple etched and frosted panels and could be original. A cast iron fireplace in the raised area looks a replacement.”

The listing description is as follows: “A late 19th Century public house with a good interior. It is of 3-storeys comprising a 4-bay centre flanked by advanced quoined end-pavilions. Red brick with stone dressings and tiled roof. Above stone stallrisers a glazed ground floor of leaded lights is framed by a fanciful pilaster order supporting the fascia. An iron and glass porch projects from the main entrance. The upper floors carry a Flemish Renaissance-type reticulation of pilasters and bandcourses, framing the windows and rising to discontinuous cornices. The 2 exterior angles of each end-pavilion carry fanciful stumpy obelisks. The west pavilion is crowned by a 4-storey Dutch gable with sunflower plaques in moulded brick. In the interior the saloon bar is backed by a wall of etched mirror-glass panels with delicate ribbon and foliage motifs, the whole giving a brilliant effect. The good modern canopy over the counter houses glass panels from a roof light painted with birds and foliage.”

The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Spread Eagle

The Pub Heritage Group link is here: PHG/Spread Eagle

The Spread Eagle featured on the Daytime Crawl of SW17, SW18 and SW11 in October 2004, the Evening Crawl of Battersea and Wandsworth in December 2007, the Gorringe, Graveney and Garratt: Daytime Crawl of Tooting, Earlsfield and Wandsworth in February 2010, the From the Crimea to Death's Door via Cats, Birds and Breweries: Evening Crawl of Wandsworth and Battersea in April 2013, and features on the Southern Splendour: Evening Crawl of Battersea, Wandsworth, Southfields and Earlsfield in December 2019.