Royal George

85A Tanners Hill
Deptford
SE8 4QD

Like the Rose, the New Cross House, the Marquis of Granby and the Amersham Arms, this handsome Samuel Smiths pub is not a listed building but its interior is considered by CAMRA to be of local importance. It retains three distinct bar areas thanks to screens and doors. The island bar with its decorated counter is a pleasing feature.

Three storey of yellow London brick with a wooden ground floor frontage possibly late Victorian. It retains an interior of three small rooms formed by two screens (increasingly rare for London) around a centrally placed servery. There are signs of 4 exterior doors so an off sales on the Thornville Street side might have been lost.

The three counter fronts are genuinely old with pilasters and good strapwork along the top and if you look behind the servery there are deep drawers and cupboards of some age. Look for the cupboard in the counter front of the middle bar which are seen in some Victorian and inter-war pubs in London and are believed to be there to allow access to the beer engines. The door for staff situated at the far left end is very curved. Throughout the pub there is an old panelled dado which is painted cream and the detail in light brown. There are two island bar back fittings the lower half of which do look genuinely old and painted white but the top sections are of modern wood, possibly 70/80s? Around the base of the counter is a foot rail but here it is a rare working heated one.

The two screens that separate the interior into three bars have lower parts with wood that nearly matches that on the counter front but not quite and the wood and glazing in the top half looks modern. The screens are likely to be in their historic position but they look more modern / 1970/80s than original so possibly Samuel Smiths replacements. S E London pub guide (1988) states the screens were there i.e. they are clearly not recent Sam Smiths additions. One screen retains a door, the other has lost its door. In 1988 the pub had an upstairs pool room but now private quarters.

The Royal George featured on the Fragments of the True (New) Cross: Evening Crawl of New Cross and Deptford in April 2017.

The WhatPub link is here: WhatPub/Royal George

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