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George Tavern Public House, Tower Hamlets

Description: George Tavern Public House

Grade: II
Date Listed: 27 September 1973
English Heritage Building ID: 205891

OS Grid Reference: TQ3520581287
OS Grid Coordinates: 535205, 181287
Latitude/Longitude: 51.5143, -0.0529

Location: 373 Commercial Road, Poplar, Greater London E1 0PB

Locality: Tower Hamlets
County: Greater London
Country: England
Postcode: E1 0PB

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Listing Text

(North Side)
No 373 (George Tavern Public
27-September-1973 House)


Includes: No. 2A AYLWARD STREET E1

Public house, with accommodation above. Built c1820-25 approximately on site of an earlier pub, the Halfway House. Remodelled 1862, probably by James Harrison. Ground-floor pub interior remodelled 1891 by RA Lewcock. The 3-storey pub on corner site is of primary interest, with 2-storey range continuing along Aylward Street.

EXTERIOR: Corner building with 2 principal elevations to Jubilee Street (W) and Commercial Road (S). Brick (now painted) with stucco dressings, modillion cornice under balustraded parapet in front of M-roof. Doors and windows to pub front set in continuous arcade with round-headed arches separated by panelled pilasters, with 3 bays to W elevation and 4 to E, the last bay with a broader, elliptical arch. Arches have decorative floral motifs in bas relief, keystones and cast-iron openwork spandrels. Bracketed cornice above ground floor. Above this, the elevations are identical, each with 3 windows; those to first floor with moulded architraves and bracketed pediments; second-floor windows with architraves and keystones, centre W window blank. String course at 2nd floor sill height. To Aylward Street return, a single bay as at front and then plainer detailing with single door in plain doorcase, rendered ground floor under plat band, and rebuilt brickwork above. East of this, 2a continues as lower two-storey range with blind windows and 1884 and 1843 parish boundary stones that indicated the boundary relative to 'The George'. Attached to east on Commercial Road, the single-storey range: 'Stepney Night Club', is not of special interest.

INTERIOR: Ground-floor pub plan has been opened up, with a modern bar in a traditional style. Cast-iron columns with foliated capitals. E wall has good series of tiled panels, including a painted scene of Halfway House titled 'Ye George Tavern in Ye Olden Times 1654; Classical scenes with putti, and 'The George', framed with Art Nouveau-style tiles. Cellar has brick-lined passage with shallow barrel-vaulted ceiling and slate shelves in side niches.

Features which are likely to be survivals from the 1820s building include a well stair with slender turned newels (balusters replaced), and first-floor doors with panelled linings and fluted architraves with lion masks to corners. Also, uncovered patches of wallpaper in early-C19 neo-classical style to first-floor landing. 3 marble Victorian fireplaces. Panelled window shutters.

HISTORY: The George Tavern and 2a Aylward Street were built approximately on the on the site of the Halfway House, believed to be of mid-C17 origin. Map evidence shows that the Halfway House was rebuilt in the C18, after 1745, approximately 50m to the north east of the earlier inn; neither building appears on Horwood's map of 1819. The present building was probably built c1820-25 and first appears on Greenwood's map of 1827. The pub therefore forms part of the development of Commercial Road, which was created following the Commercial Road Act of 1802 to link the newly-built East and West India Docks to the City boundary. Maps suggest that 2a Aylward Street was built around the same time as the George pub, possibly as a stable or other service accommodation; there was originally a yard to the rear of the pub, but this has been built over. It is unclear whether the vaults, which are mainly beneath the 2-storey range, date from the earlier inn or the 1820s.

Pevsner, The Buildings of England, London 5: East, p 527
M Girouard (1984), Victorian Pubs
English Heritage (1984), Pubs: Understanding Listing
English Heritage (2004), Licensed to Sell

The George Tavern is listed at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* A handsome corner public house with well-detailed Italianate elevations of 1862, which has strong townscape interest
* Retention of earlier features from remodelled 1820s building
* Fine ornate tiling to bar, presumed to date from the 1891 remodelling
* Group value with Nos 300 to 334 (even) opposite
* Of historic interest as a reminder of the use of the site as an inn, possibly since the C17, and as part of the early C19 development of Commercial Road, an important historic thoroughfare from the Docklands to the City

Listing NGR: TQ3520581288

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.