Park Tavern212 Merton Road
This pub 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: Consisting of a three-storey pub on the right of 1902 and a single-story extension on the right from 1926, it was refitted by T H Nowell Parr for Royal Brewery of Brentford. Remarkably, the 1926 interior of quality fittings is very little changed in three rooms (was originally four and an off sales).
On the Merton Road side an entrance in the three-storey part of the pub has Bostwick gates pulled to the side with ‘Park Tavern’ in the ironwork above. The vestibule, which is curved internally on both sides, has a well worn ‘Public & Jugs Bar’ mosaic floor. There are doors to the left and right (both disused) and one in the centre so it looks like there was an off sales leading from the centre door and originally rooms to the left and right but this is now one large space. On the front right is an area with fielded panelling to picture frame height on the walls, a fireplace with an old wood surround but modern brick interior but the fixed seating is modern. The bar counter is of fielded panelling sloping to the top but is sadly painted white. The front left area has a floor of part modern tiles and part carpet, more fielded panelling to picture frame height on the walls and also another curved entrance with a (disused) central door.
A substantial doorway / short passage with fielded panelling to picture frame height leads to the main bar with a bare wood floor and fielded panelling on the walls to picture frame height. There is another entrance vestibule with a ‘Saloon Bar’ mosaic floor and a door with a brass ‘Saloon Bar’ sign. The bar counter has a front of fielded panelling but is sadly painted white and the counter top could be from 1926. The bar back fitting lower shelves might be old but the top section is modern; half of lower shelving lost to fridges.
There is a large room in the single-storey part of the building which has a wide opening from the saloon bar but the existence of a beam held up by a pair of bulbous balusters perched on the top of square columns to the left and right indicates it was built like this – wide openings to rooms is a feature of pubs designed by Nowell Parr e.g. Forester, West Ealing. This bare boarded room has the walls covered in fielded panelling to picture frame height with strapwork decoration all along the top section – look for the folding ventilators in the panelling on the Merton Road side. Most of the rear side of the room is taken up by a large inter-war inglenook fireplace with baffles either side and on top of them are two bulbous balusters holding up the ceiling here. A Tudor-shaped arch stone fireplace has a mantelpiece featuring another four bulbous balusters.
The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Park Tavern
The Pubs Heritage Group link is here: PHG/Park Tavern
The Park Tavern features on the Evening Crawl of Battersea, Wandsworth, Southfields and Earlsfield in December 2019.