Assembly House

294 Kentish Town Road
Kentish Town

The WhatPub entry is here: WhatPub/Assembly House

Like the Flask, the Bull & Gate and the Pineapple, this pub is both on CAMRA’s London Regional Inventory and is a grade II listed building. The Inventory description is as follows: “When it opened in 1898 this pub epitomised the grand, luxurious kind of establishment that was the hallmark of the great pub boom. The architects were Thorpe & Furniss. They provided an ambitious design outside in the Flemish Renaissance style which boasts a tourelle on the corner. There is ornate ironwork, polished stone facing on the ground floor and a series of prominent dormer windows. The interior has undergone a pretty comprehensive modernisation yet there is still a lot of historic work to enjoy. First, the plan: you can still appreciate that the multiple entrances would have given access to a compartmentalised interior of the kind the Victorians liked. Even today, the front part (completely gutted) feels physically separated from the back. The best feature is the survival in the rear parts of one of the most elaborate panel-and-mirror displays anywhere. Set in tall rectangular panels are etched and cut mirrors with birds, foliage, swags and other decorative devices (note that a couple of large panels are later replacements – they lack the brilliant cutting of the Victorian originals). The surviving bar-back, a tall, delicate piece, has similar work and is further embellished with touches of gilding. Other things to note are the lavish ceiling, cast-iron columns with their eclectic Ionic/Corinthian columns and the back room which has a large skylight to what was originally a billiard room.”

The listing description is as follows: “Public house. 1898. By Thorpe and Furniss; wrought-iron work by Jones & Willis; glass by W James of Kentish Town; interior plasterwork by the Plastic Decoration Company; joinery by WA Antill & Co. Red brick and stucco. Slate roofs with dormers. STYLE: French Chateau style. PLAN: situated on a canted corner site with projecting ground floor frontage. EXTERIOR: 3 storeys, attics and cellars. Ground floor with pink and black polished granite pilasters supporting fascia and cornice with elaborate wrought-iron balustrade and segmental-arched stuccoed gables over entrances, that facing into Leighton Road with an aedicule containing a figure. 5 entrances (1 now blocked) with half glazed panelled doors and overlights. Entrances to extreme left and right with lobbies having French embossed and brilliant cut mirrors to walls, elaborate wrought-iron screen incorporating the letters "AH" and mosaic floors. Main frontage windows with top strip of small panes and all frontage windows with mostly original French embossed and brilliant cut glass in lower panes. 1st floor with 5-light bow window to Kentish Town Road, a canted 5-light bay, 2-light window, 4-light bay and single light, all with transoms and mullions and pilaster architraves supporting an entablature with enriched frieze. 2nd floor similar but with entablature having modillion cornice with enriched blocking course breaking forward over bays. Extreme right hand bay replaced by enriched console. At eaves level the bowed window culminates in a 5-light turret with enriched friezes and conical roof with finial. On the corner, 4 dormers with pilaster architraves supporting pediments terminating in shell finials; into Leighton Road, above the 4-light canted bay, an attic storey with two 2-light windows and pilasters supporting similar entablature to that below. High, steep hipped roof over this bay with cast-iron cresting, pedimented dormer and large slab chimney to side. INTERIOR: of high standard retains original mahogany fittings, French embossed and brilliant cut glass and mirrors. Elaborately moulded plaster ceiling in Jacobean style. Lantern with raised clerestory in rear bar with stained glass detailing. Front bar altered.”

The Assembly House featured on the Evening Crawl of Kentish Town in April 2004, the Highways, Archways and Tramways: Daytime Crawl of Highgate, Archway and Kentish Town in June 2010, and the From Wrestling to Assembling: Evening Crawl of Highgate and Kentish Town in August 2015.