Thursday, 5 August 2010

The Old Dover Castle, Waterloo

There has been a pub called the Old Dover Castle at the southern end of Lower Marsh Lane at least since the mid-eighteenth century. The name first appeared in the Public Advertiser dated March 7, 1759. However the current building is typically late Victorian, having been built in 1894 by Treadwell & Martin (they also designed the Rising Sun on Tottenham Court Road). It is said its interior was elaborately decorated and the service and food were of high quality. The Old Dover Castle was renovated and brought into line with modern catering possibilities around 1923-24, possibly just after being bought by the Pioneer Catering Company. It seems the name was 'modernised' as well by dropping the 'Old' from 'Dover Castle'.
Apparently the pub closed in the mid-1960s. Between 1996 and 2009 a language school used the premises. When it moved out, squatters moved in. They briefly opened an art gallery and cultural centre. Recently a planning application has been submitted to convert the building into a supermarket and apart-hotel. Plans include a new ground floor fascia, which would be in line with the upper floors (to say that the current one is horrible is an understatement). The developers also intend to give the brickwork a good cleaning. Let's hope they will not erase completely the sign below in the process...

Dover Castle
The Pioneer Catering
Co. Ltd.
Luncheons &
... .ll [At All ?] Prices

Location: Lower Marsh Lane / Picture taken on: 10/04/2008

1 comment:

Sam Roberts said...

I've heard today that this one may soon be lost when the building gets extended.