London Pubs Group

Campaign for Real Ale

Campaign for Real Ale

Starting Gate

Station Road,
Wood Green,
N22 7SS

This pub is not only a grade II listed building, it is also a Two Star pub on the Campaign for Real Ale’s (CAMRA) National Inventory as having an interior of Outstanding National Historic Interest, and the description is as follows: “Now a modern atmosphere eating and drinking establishment, considerable vestiges of rich late-Victorian pub furnishings remain. This pub didn’t start life as a pub but as the Palace Café, opened in 1875, the same year as Alexandra Palace. This turned into a pub by 1896 and was refitted by Richard Dickenson of St John Street, Adelphi, in 1899 – no doubt the date of much of what we see today. There is a central servery from which compartments radiated, and the six outside doors show these were numerous and therefore small. The surviving screen panels are formed of timber and etched glass, the latter embellished with the small birds and swirling foliage that never failed to delight late-Victorian pub owners and customers. The panelled oak bar counter is Victorian as are the mirrors in the central stillion (although the structure itself is modern). The timber arch above, however, is Victorian, and spans two mighty, fluted cast-iron Corinthian columns. Another item to note is the mosaic flooring marking out a former corridor leading from the St Michael’s Terrace entrance. You will also find a bank of snob screens sitting on the counter.”

The listing description is as follows: “Public House on a corner site. Built 1875 (the same year as the opening of Alexandra Palace) as the "Palace Cafe"; a public house by 1896; refitted internally 1899 by Richard Dickenson of-St John Street, Adelphi. Yellow stock brick with red brick dressings. Public House frontage with paired pink granite pilasters on a black granite plinth. 6 windows, 1 window to chamfered angle and 2 windows to St Michael's Street. 3 storeys and cellars. Each street with a depressed arch entrance to recessed doorway with double-panelled and part-glazed doors flanked by panelled and engraved glass screens. Windows have round-arched glazing and top panels of geometric pattern. Fascia with cornice. Upper floors have rusticated brick strips at angles and bays. 1st floor 2-pane sashes brick architraved with keystones and timber open pediments. 2nd floor sashes with gauged brick heads and continuous brick dentil cornice sill band. similar cornice above to coped parapet. To left a lower 2-storey, 3-window extension with late C19 shopfront and central pedimented chimney breast rising through upper floors. Roundel on chimney breast dated 1875. Interior has cast iron columns with capitals and many original features including screens with engraved glass, part of a snob screen, chimney pieces and an overmantle, lincrusta decoration and a series of framed panels containing water-colour paintings, mostly pastoral views but one of Alexandra Palace. Originally known as the Alexandra Palace Hotel, it became the Alexandra Palace and Railway Hotel when the Great Eastern Railway station was opened in 1906 and in 1958, when a racecourse was opened at the bottom of the southern slopes, the Starting Gate.”

The Gate featured on the Racing, Railways and Prime Ministers: Daytime Crawl of Wood Green, Hornsey, Crouch End, Finsbury Park and Harringay in June 2009.