Old Red Lion

42-44 Kennington Park Rd, Kennington,
SE11 4RS

This pub is not only a grade II listed building but it is also one of London’s Real Heritage Pubs, ie it is on the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) London Regional Inventory of Pub Interiors of Special Historic Interest, and the description is as follows: “This local drinkers’ pub is as impressive and intact an example of ‘brewers’ Tudor’ as you will find anywhere. It was rebuilt about 1929 by London brewers, Charrington’s. The outside has a display of half-timbering which gives the viewer the feel of what to expect inside. Rather like the Wheatsheaf in Borough, the pub stretches back from the road and is split down the middle by a dividing wall with the servery sitting in the middle with access to both sides. There are masses of heavy timbering, most of it with adze marks to create a sense of antiquity. There are two low, narrow doorways at each end of the servery giving access from one side of the pub to the other; over one doorway a Toby jug (the emblem of Charrington’s); over the other a red lion. Other things to enjoy (left) the built-in picture of Bonnie Prince Charlie landing in 1745 and (left and right) original light fittings, brick pillars and mock-heraldic cartouches of the red lion and Toby jug over the fireplaces. Attached to the left of the building is a feature sometimes found at inter-war pubs, a separate off-sales shop.”

Unfortunately, the former gents’ loos which had original tiling have now been converted to a kitchen.

The listing description is as follows: “Public house and off licence. Built circa 1929 on the site of an earlier public house of c1750. Tudorbethan style. Front elevation has eclectic timberframing with plastered infill, sides brick in English bond with tiled roof, two red brick clustered chimneystacks to left and stock brick chimneystack to right. Nos 42 and 43, the public house, are of two storeys attics and basement: two windows. No 44, the off licence, is of one storey one bay. EXTERIOR: Attic storey of nos 42 and 43 projects and has central gable with bargeboards and carved band above two four-light casements, supported on lion-shaped brackets painted red. Remainder of attic floor has pattern of arches underneath the windows and wooden bracket with hanging sign. First floor also has two four-light casements. Ground floor has projecting bar front with two arched windows with frosted stained glass and stall risers with brick nogging and three entrances, the right side to upper floors, the central and left to public and saloon bars, with rectangular fanlights and two-centred arched oak doors. No 44 to the left was the off licence. One storey brick with penticed slate roof. Shopfront with twelve arches above, six arches below, stall risers of brick incorporating some tiles on edge and recessed arched doorcase with rectangular fanlight. INTERIOR: Intact interior with two bars, public and saloon, running the full depth of the property and staircase to right hand side. Adzed oak ceiling and wall frame beams, oak panelled internal porches, three Tudor-style fireplace surrounds with metal hoods and twisted brick piers, original lantern style lighting, bar counters with four-centred arches and decorated spandrels, heraldic shields, a built-in picture depicting the landing of Bonnie Prince Charlie in Scotland, original doors throughout and original cream and black tiles and fittings to lavatories [not any more – see above].”

The Old Red Lion featured on the Daytime Crawl of Lambeth and Kennington in February 2006, and the Princes' Progress: Evening Crawl of Kennington, Elephant & Castle, and Borough in August 2012.