Our historic building has stood proudly in the heart of Blackfriars since 1875 – just think of the things it must have seen…
You won’t be able to miss our iconic, wedge-shaped building, with its mosaics, ornamental balconies, and famous guardian black friar above the front door.
Built on the site of a Dominican friary, the curious building was redesigned by architect Herbert Fuller-Clark in around 1905, with most of the internal decoration provided by artist Henry Poole and sculptor Frederick Callcott. Their commitment to the free-thinking arts and crafts movement can still be seen in our sculptures, mosaics, and relics, all depicting jolly friars.
Added in 1917-21, the snack bar sits under the neighbouring railway line, proving a popular attraction with its barrel-vaulted ceiling.
With such a rich history, it’s hard to believe that we’re actually lucky to still be here after being saved from redevelopment in the 1960s. The demolition was prevented by a campaign led by Sir John Betjeman, so make sure you raise a glass to him when you visit us for a pint!