Stag's Head

55 Orsman Road,
N1 5RA

Like the Rose & Crown and Corley’s Tavern, this pub is not a listed building but it is one of London’s Real Heritage pubs and the description is as follows: “This drinkers’ pub is one of many inter-war ones built by major East End brewers, Trumans, in this case, like their Hope and Anchor, Hammersmith, W6, to serve a 1930s housing estate. The ground floor is faced with mottled blue and brown tiles that were then very popular for pub frontages. It is quite small and originally consisted of two narrow bars either side of a servery plus a ‘Home Sales’ compartment (now disused, of course). The public bar is on the right (on the street corner), the saloon on the left. In the 1950s or 1960s an extension was added on to the saloon (they couldn’t get the tile match right!). The interior is characteristic of Truman’s house style. Note their characteristic lettering advertising their oatmeal stout, Eagle ale, etc. on the woodwork, and typical brick fire surrounds with small relief panels (the leaping stags found here also prance about in other Truman’s pubs) and mirrors in the overmantels. They also repeated the chequered spittoon trough arrangements frequently. The social (and price) distinction between the two sides is mirrored in the bar counters – commonplace matchboarding for the public bar and a more elegant streamlined effort in the saloon. Happily the toilets in both halves of the pub have not experienced modern refits and the tilework still appears as it did to those answering the call of Nature seventy years ago.

History in the area: Gainsborough Pictures, a film studio founded in 1923 was located in a former power station in nearby Poole Street until 1951 and was where Alfred Hitchcock began his career. In 2002 the building was demolished and replaced by flats in 2004.”

The Stag's Head featured on the Daytime Crawl of North London in October 2005, and the Going South in the North: Daytime Crawl from Stoke Newington to Hoxton in August 2010.