Anchor Tap

20 Horselydown Lane
Bermondsey-West
SE1 2LN

Like the Shipwrights Arms, this pub is both a Grade II listed building, and recognised by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) as having an historic interior of Some Regional importance, and the description is as follows: "Built early to mid 19th century (source: Historic England – the pub claims 1761) and refurbished in the late 19th century. It was built as the Tap to the Anchor Brewery, the former Courage Horsleydown brewery, but was sold to Samuel Smiths in the early 1990s. At the front there are two small bars with genuine old fittings, at the rear a room that looks to be in pub use for many years with what looks like a hatch for service. A corridor runs down the left hand side of the servery off which are doorways leading firstly the games room and the lounge which might well have been brought into public use in modern times. Also, there are rooms upstairs now in public use. The double door entrance leads into the public bar which has a terrazzo floor, a late 19th century panelled bar counter with decorative brackets but the mirrored bar back fitting is (mostly) modern – the top section is described in the listed description as having a ‘moulded cornice, pilasters and mirrors’. To the right is a late 19th century fireplace with red tiled surround. There is a dado of old matchboard panelling and the chimney breast projects into the side bar. There is a passage to the rear room with two rooms off to the left that have seen changes but it is not clear they were originally pubs rooms. The side bar is now accessed through a low doorway near the fireplace but staff say originally it was accessed from a door on the front right and the changes were over 35 years ago i.e. prior to Samuel Smiths ownership. It has a late 19th century panelled bar counter with decorative brackets in front of which is a linoleum trough area with a brass edging, but the mirrored bar back fitting is wholly modern. This long thin room contains old dado match-board panelling but the wall bench seating at the front and rear right looks post war (which would tie in with a change to the front of the building) and there is a small cast iron fireplace at the rear possibly added by Samuel Smiths? The listed description (2004) states there was a late 19th century fireplace with red tiled surround?

The small room at the rear right has a doorway off the passage and new lino tiled floor. There is a massive stone fireplace original to the building and to the left of it is a genuine looking old hatch to the back of the servery but no longer in use as covered by a solid window. The dado of match-board panelling looks old but it is difficult to date the wall benches at the rear.

The small room on the front left of the building is now called the games room and has blocked up corner doors as it is now accessed via a doorway from the main bar. It has a dado of old match-board panelling on the exterior wall sides, modern lino tiled floor and a large Bass mirror but no sign of a fireplace. There is a disused door at the rear of the room as well as a new door from the main bar – the wall it is in appears a stud insertion. Beyond a short passage from a door on the Horsleydown Lane side there is another small room called the lounge accessed via a doorway with no old fittings – the wall on the right of the entrance appears a stud insertion.

Upstairs is what is called the dining room and consists of three small areas with modern bar fittings and two fireplaces, one being a mid C19 marble one. Access to this upper room from the right-hand side of the pub is via an unusual early C19 winder staircase with stick balusters. It goes down to a small hall at the rear of the pub with doors to the small rear room and side bar.

The listing description is as follows: "Early to mid C19, refurbished in late C19. Italianate style. Stuccoed with incised lines to imitate masonry with slate roof and stock brick chimneystack. Two storeys: three windows to front elevation. Moulded cornice and pilasters flank the windows. First floor windows are 12-pane sashes with cornices above and the corner also has a similar butr curved window. The ground floor has a wooden bar front with moulded cornice and fascia, a series of pilasters and original curved double doors to the corner. The side elevation to Copper Row has two 12-pane sashes and a central doorcase with half-glazed door flanked by pilasters. INTERIOR: Original bar divisions remain. Early C19 winder staircase with stick balusters. The two front bars have matchboard panelling. Later C19 bar counter with panelling and brackets and the bar back has moulded cornice, pilasters and mirrors. The two front bas have late C19 fireplces with tiled surrounds. A back bar has the original chimneybreast. The first floor function room has a mid C19 marble fireplace. HISTORY: Built as the Tap to the Anchor Brewery."

The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Anchor Tap

The Pub Heritage Group link is here: PHG/Anchor Tap

The Anchor Tap featured on the Knocked 'Em in the Old Kent Road: Evening Crawl of Bermondsey in December 2010, and features on the Evening Tour of Former Courage Pubs in Southwark, Borough and Bermondsey .