Crocker's Folly24 Aberdeen Place
St John's Wood
Not only is this pub a grade II* listed building but it is also on CAMRA’s National Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Historic Interest and the description is as follows: “Crocker's was a show-case Victorian pub, built in 1898-9 in an elaborate, eclectic style to the designs (Oct. 1897) of architect C.H. Worley of Welbeck Street for the entrepreneur Frank Crocker. No expense was spared to fit it out and it served also as a hotel and restaurant, conveniently placed near Lord's cricket ground. The front entrance leads into a spectacular 'grand saloon', as it was known (now the 'Marble Room'), which is set up for dining. Here the highlights are a superb marble fireplace, marble counter and an ornate ceiling. On the left is a large room (now 'Lord's Dining Room'), also used as a restaurant but, when the pub opened, this was a billiard room, accommodating two full-size tables: there was a platform for thirty people to watch the play. The ceiling is another tour de force. When the hotel opened the restaurant was on the second floor and there was a concert room on the first floor. In the right-hand part, now serving as the bar, there were originally five separate compartments, all screened off from one another. One of these was reserved for ladies only. The fittings are essentially original although the L-shaped servery has been cut back on the return. From its opening until 1987 the pub was known as the Crown Hotel - which name appears on the clock in the bar-back. The name change arose because of a wondrously exaggerated story that Frank Crocker built this grand establishment to serve the Great Central Railway's new terminus. In fact this ended up at Marylebone over half a mile away. Ruin, despair and suicide! In fact, Marylebone was a-building at the same time as the Crown and Frank died of natural causes at the tender age of 41 in 1904, a much-liked and respected member of the community. Following ten years' closure Crocker's reopened in 2014 after restoration as a high-quality restaurant and bar - if you want to view the Marble Room and Lord's Dining Room you are recommended to visit between 12 and 5 Monday to Friday.”
The listing description is as follows: “Public house c.1900. Red and plum brick, ashlar facing to 2nd floor and dressings. Slate roof. Northern Renaissance style. 3 storeys and attic. Asymmetrical. 3-bay bowed centrepiece surmounted by curvilinear gable, 3-bay wing to left incorporating 3-window full height canted bay. To right 1 bay and bow forming turret to angle. To centre, round-arched entrance bows out supported on paired marble columns with elaborate stucco decoration in spandrels. Canted bay has round-arched window and panels of faience. Modillion cornice. 1st floor sashes with fanned keystone heads. 2nd floor centre has segmental pediment on ashlar columns. Sides arcaded with pairs of ashlar columns. Sash windows. Pulvinated frieze and modillion cornice. Centre bay flanked by buttresses surmounted by niches with segmental pediments on columns. Central curvilinear gable containing Venetian window. Steeply-pitched hipped roof with tall stacks with ashlar arcading. Copper tent roof to angle turret. Fine interior includes original fittings including marble bars and large marble fireplace with paired columns and hood, arcaded walls with pilasters supporting frieze with scrollwork, carved mahogany, elaborate plasterwork ceilings and engraved and decorative leaded-light glass.”
The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Crocker's Folly
The Pub Heritage Group link is here: PHG/Crocker's Folly
The Crockers Folly featured on the Evening Crawl of Maida Vale in May 2002, and the Rural Rides: Daytime Crawl of Kensal Green, Maida Hill, Maida Vale and St John's Wood in February 2017.