Public house, built in 1885-1886 to the designs of the Brentford Borough Surveyor F W Lacey.
Reasons for Designation
The Ealing Park Tavern along with its associated stable block is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* as a particularly well-composed and executed example of a public house in the ‘Old English’ style;
* for the quality of F W Lacey’s varied and inventive design, which is informally arranged around a prominent turreted corner and includes finely crafted details such as a richly carved entrance frontispiece.
* as a rare example of an ambitious late-Victorian suburban pub bearing the distinct influence of early ‘improved’ public house designs of the 1880s;
* for the high rate of survival of the external arrangement and fenestration of the 1885 design, along with many internal fittings.
Ealing Park Tavern was amongst the first buildings to be completed on the land to the west of the cemetery along Ealing Road, an area which the Ordnance Survey (OS) map for Middlesex (1:2,500) shows to have remained entirely undeveloped and partially wooded through until 1875. The pub was constructed in 1886 to the designs of FW Lacey for the Brentford Royal Brewery Company. The central portion of the building to the Carlyle Road junction – described in the Buildings of England entry as a ‘flamboyant Old English cornerpiece’ - is much the same as Lacey’s original perspective drawing, which was featured in the 1885 Royal Academy Exhibition and published in the Building News (4 September 1885, p366). The design was intended to set a respectable architectural tone for residential development to the new streets to the west of Ealing Road, with the same September notice in the Building News reporting that the exterior had been arranged ‘with the intention of relying upon the general outlines rather than upon decoration for effect’; this being in marked contrast to the opulent and often extravagantly decorated public houses that became predominant in the ‘pub boom’ years in London in the last decades of the C19. The Ealing Park Tavern remained part of the Brentford Royal Brewery Company until a controlling share was purchased in 1922 by the Maidstone brewers Style & Winch.
Into the 1920s, under the control of Style & Winch Ltd, several changes were made to the pub. Between 1914 and 1935, map evidence indicates that the original building was extended along South Ealing Road, creating the open hall (with the bay window and glazed brick façade here continuing the styling of Lacey’s earlier work). Further additions to the rear yard and pre-existing stables (shown as present by the time of the 1896 OS London map) were built at around this stage and, into the mid-1930s (when the pub had become part of the Barclay Perkins pub estate), there was further extension along Carlyle Road. This mid-1930s work comprised a single-storey extension to the main building, along with a matching addition to the end of the South Ealing Road elevation. The most recent structural additions were completed in the 1960s, undertaken by Courage & Co (following their acquisition through a 1955 merger with Barclay Perkins), with a single-storey front extension to the ancillary building in the rear yard and a flat-roofed addition to the mid-1930s South Ealing Road extension. There was some structural and sanitary work carried out in 1973 and a phase of internal refurbishment of the pub in 2014-2015, when the pub changed ownership.
The architect of the Ealing Park Tavern, Frederick William Lacey (1855-1916), was Surveyor to Brentford Local Board from 1881 until 1889 and during this time he oversaw the implementation of Brentford’s drainage scheme and produced designs for the Ealing Road Pumping Station. Lacey undertook a number of private commissions whilst serving as Borough Surveyor, including ‘The Gables’ in Brent Road (1887), where Lacey lived with his family until his departure from Brentford in 1889. Other significant local buildings included the former Post Office on Brentford Market Place and additions to the Castle Hotel on Brentford High Street. In 1889, Lacey took up the position of Borough Surveyor (and later Borough Architect) in Bournemouth where he designed a number of the town’s key public buildings, several of which are now Grade II-listed, including the Central Fire Station, 1902 (National Heritage List for England 101924), the County Court, 1908-1914 (NHLE 1108776), and the Central Public Library, 1910-1913 (NHLE 1110034). Lacey was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in 1898 and his obituary published in the RIBA Journal recognised the breadth of his work, noting his designs for numerous hotels, major public buildings, large civic engineering schemes and the layout of many public parks and large estates (1916, Volume 23, p215).
Public house, built in 1885-1886 to the designs of the Brentford Borough Surveyor F W Lacey for the Brentford Royal Brewery Company. The pub was extended in phases in the inter-war period and the mid-C20.
MATERIALS: red facing bricks with stucco upper storeys and Broseley clay tiles to the roof.
PLAN: the pub stands at the junction with Carlyle Road and South Ealing Road, with its main entrance to the east. The plan has seen some opening-out of former room divisions; with what would have been two bar areas to Carlyle Road now forming a large, unified space. A spatially distinct, set-back bar area which would have been the club room (as indicated in the Middlesex County Times, 7 March 1885, p6) adjoins the main Carlyle Road bar room and is connected by a shared servery. On the South Ealing Road side there is a small bar room (originally the saloon bar) and a later-added (inter-war) extension to the north accommodates a luncheon/dining room or function hall. There is private residential accommodation to the upper floors and a cellar beneath the bar rooms. A distinct stable range occupies the western portion of the site, used as a micro brewery until the recent closure of the pub (January 2020).
EXTERIOR: the earliest parts of the pub – built to Lacey’s 1885 designs for the Brentford Royal Brewery Company - consist of the three-storey bays to the junction of Carlyle Road and South Ealing Road. These elements remain much as shown in the original perspective illustration published in the Building News. With its asymmetric composition, bowed windows and varied gables, it is stylistically redolent of Queen Anne and Old English designs influenced by the work of Norman Shaw and also the early ambitious ‘improved’ pub designs of the 1880s by the London architects Vigers and Wagstaffe. Notable features include the turreted corner and the recessed saloon bar entrance, which is framed by a carved wooden arch with columns and Royal Brewery monograms. The covered entrance area has decorative glazed green tiling with Art Nouveau-style lettering advertising the saloon bar, which is also named on a brass door plate to the main bar area. There are timber-framed plate glass windows with leaded top lights at street level, arranged as a bowed pair to Carlyle Road and a prominent bay window to South Ealing Road. The facing bricks are laid predominantly in stretcher bond with fine struck pointing. A continuous fascia with dentils and an ironwork capping runs above the windows at street level. The first floor is part-brick with its upper portion of stucco with applied timbers. A variety of informally arranged, multi-paned windows feature at this level, including a large ‘Ipswich’ window and three-part sash (beneath the bracketed overhanging gable) to South Ealing Road. To Carlyle Road, bowed casement windows are positioned in conformity with those at street level. The upper storey has leaded windows, with a gable window and dormer to Carlyle Road, a banded set of casements set into the eaves at the turreted corner and a small oriel and gable window to the South Ealing Road elevation. The eaves course has a deep overhang with a boarded soffit with exposed rafter ends. The canted corner turret retains its wrought-iron globe weather vane.
The inter-war single-storey, red brick extension bay to South Ealing Road continues the architectural form of Lacey’s 1880s work, with a bay window set beneath an overhanging, bracketed gable end. This is flanked by a pair of matching plate glass windows with leaded upper lights. An additional, slightly later projecting single-storey block with matching red brick and a flat roof is attached to the north. To Carlyle Road there is a similar single-storey, flat-roofed toilet block, which projects out into the street.
A distinct stable range (probably original, certainly present in the 1890s), is set to the west of the pub across the open yard. The range has a red brick lower storey with a stucco upper level. There is a gable end with an ocular window to Carlyle Road and a main front to the east with two gables to the yard with high-level windows and entrances below. A later C20 lean-to addition is built against the Carlyle Road end of the stable block.
INTERIOR: the main bar room fronting Carlyle Road is served by a long counter with a raked front and fielded panels set between projecting pilasters. It is probable that this is an original fitting – certainly comparable examples can be securely dated to the last decades of the C19. The counter continues around into the former club room, set-back from Carlyle Road, with a horseshoe end section to the counter spanning the two rooms and forming an undivided servery area. There is light oak fielded panelling, of probable 1920s or 1930s date to the two rooms; rising to dado level in the main Carlyle Road bar and to picture-rail height in the former club room (indicating that this was a higher-status bar room at this stage). A fire surround in matching light oak with an inset mirror above the mantle is positioned at the west end of the main bar room. The fireplace here has been removed to leave an exposed brick opening. There are two openings between the two Carlyle Road bar rooms, picked-out with oak surrounds, both with pilasters and an architrave above four-point (Tudor) arches. A pair of part-glazed wooden doors with leaded lights above lead out to the yard from the former club room. A further part-glazed wooden door to the yard is set into the north wall, with another fireplace integrated with the fielded panelling adjacent to this (opposite the servery).
A small room, originally accessed from the right door from the South Ealing Road entrance, is likely to have been the original saloon bar (as the tiled signage advertises). This is served by a distinct curved section of the bar counter (largely rebuilt in facsimile in 2014) with its servery area connecting (via an opening in the wall) with the servery of the main Carlyle Road bar room. This room has further picture-rail height fielded panelling, with an integrated fire surround with an inset mirror above the mantle to the north wall. There is fixed benching to the bay window.
The northernmost room on the South Ealing Road side was added by 1935 and forms a distinct dining area. This has a series of beams set on brackets with joists set square to the ceiling, forming a large, open hall. There is further fielded panelling of light oak fitted here, although this was overhauled and rearranged as part of refurbishment work in 2014. A fire surround integrated with the panelling is positioned in the centre of the south wall. The inset fireplace here has contemporary glazed brown tiles. An open-plan kitchen area has been inserted at the northern end of the room (added as part of a phase of the internal remodelling in 2014).
The distinct stable range has an open-plan arrangement. There is no available information on other internal parts of the building, including the cellar arrangement or the private accommodation to the upper floors.