Major refurb includes boutique hotel, HQ for Young's and a new pub interior
The Spread Eagle in Wandsworth High Street
The Spread Eagle – Wandsworth Town’s Grade II listed stalwart – is undergoing a major refurbishment.
Owned by the Ram Pub Company which is part of the Young’s Brewery portfolio, the pub has been granted planning permission to convert its upper floors to a boutique hotel, as well as create a new HQ for Young’s including staff training facilities for the group.
The 19th Century pub will be refurbed with alterations to the interior including work on the bar areas, provision of a disabled toilet, redecoration, new bench seating, new flooring and some replacement glazing.
Wandsworth planning consent stipulated that prior to any demolition works or alterations, a full photographic record of the internal and external appearance of the pub would need to be recorded in accordance with English Heritage Historic Building regulations. This means the council now has a full photographic record of this historical building.
The South West London branch of CAMRA, the 50- year-old Campaign for Real Ale which aims to promote and protect pubs as part of the UK’s cultural heritage, has objected to only a couple of aspects of the overall refurbishment “mainly to protect the integrity of the original Victorian features”. Specifically CAMRA commented on the stripping back of original varnished woodwork with a spokesman saying, “I would ask that it be made clear that the original Victorian woodwork may not be vandalised in this way.”
A glimpse of The Spread Eagle's historic interior. Picture: Wandsworth Council
CAMRA also expressed an opinion on one of the countertops, “I see that the pewter counter top idea has been abandoned in favour of a modern wooden counter top. Personally I cannot see how this could be an improvement on the current original Victorian counter top that has been doing the job for over 120 years now and is imbued with the patina of ages.”
The most up-to-date refurbishment proposals have now been agreed by Wandsworth’s planning committee, taking local comment into account, and include a new curved fixed seat and re-use of the existing glazed timber screen in the Garratt Room, new brass footrails, additional seating and a new ornate glazed screen in the Calico Lounge
Young’s – whose local pubs include The Alma in Wandsworth Town, The East Hill in the Tonsleys and The Queen Adelaide on Putney Bridge Road – have been brewing beer in the area since 1831 when Charles Young and Anthony Bainbridge bought the Ram Brewery on Wandsworth High Street, opposite The Spread Eagle. The Ram Brewery officially closed in 2006 when the Ram Quarter was approved for redevelopment, but the developers hired Young’s to keep brewing on the site via a nanobrewery.
Local brewers, Sambrook’s, took out a 25 year lease on the site late last year to build a new microbrewery, taproom, and a brewing museum. Since March this year the building is now the main hub of Sambrook's brewing operation. Meanwhile the Young’s nanobrewery is also still operational and the taproom is due to open this summer.
The refurbishment of The Spread Eagle is due for completion next year.
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