Crocker's Folly

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Crocker's Folly
Crocker's Folly, August 2016 01.jpg
Crocker's Folly, 2016
Crocker's Folly is located in Greater London
Crocker's Folly
Crocker's Folly
General information
Address24 Aberdeen Place, St John's Wood
Town or cityLondon
CountryEngland
Coordinates51°31′33″N 0°10′30″W / 51.5259°N 0.1749°W / 51.5259; -0.1749Coordinates: 51°31′33″N 0°10′30″W / 51.5259°N 0.1749°W / 51.5259; -0.1749
Designations
Listed Building – Grade II
Official nameCrocker's Public House
Designated09 January 1970
Reference no.1357150
Interior, 2016
Crocker's Folly, boarded up in 2007
The interior, 2001

Crocker's Folly is a Grade II* listed public house at 24 Aberdeen Place, St John's Wood, London.[1] It was built in 1898,[2] in a Northern Renaissance style, and was previously called The Crown.[1] Geoff Brandwood and Jane Jephcote's guide to heritage pubs in London describes it as "a truly magnificent pub-cum-hotel" with "superb fittings", including extensive use of marble.[2] The architect was Charles Worley.[3]

Interior[edit]

The highlight is the "grand saloon" as it was originally known. There is an exceptional marble fireplace, as well as a marble-topped bar counter. Altogether 50 different types of marble are used, with paired marble Corinthian pilasters supporting the opulent part-gilded beamed ceiling, and even the chimney and the saloon walls are faced with marble.[3][4]

Frank Crocker[edit]

In 1987, the pub's name was changed to Crocker's Folly, which had been its nickname for many years. The story was that Frank Crocker, believing he had a reliable tip-off about the site of the new terminus of the Great Central Railway, built the pub on a lavish scale to serve it, however when the terminus was actually built it turned out to be over half a mile away at Marylebone Station – leading to Crocker's ruin, despair and eventual suicide, jumping from the window of an upper floor.[3] In reality, Crocker died in 1904, aged only 41, but of natural causes,[4] although the subsequent landlord, Charles Durden, did kill himself in the way described.[5] It has been claimed that Crocker's ghost haunts the pub.[6]

Every wall, window and ceiling was decorated in ornate style, with soaring pillars, wood panelling and elaborate stucco featuring gambolling cherubs. Its grand saloon used 50 types of marble to create a magnificent bar-top, archways, an enormous fireplace and soaring pillars, which in turn supported the opulent part-gilded beamed ceiling. Even the chimney and walls were faced with marble.

Redevelopment[edit]

The pub closed in autumn 2004[7] and in November 2011, the City of Westminster Council gave outline planning consent for the conversion of the three upper floors to residential use. It was noted that the building was on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk Register, and in need of urgent repair.[8]

In February 2014, London Drinker magazine reported that work had begun on the conversion of the upper floors to apartments and that the ground floor would be converted to a restaurant, perhaps with a bar.[9]

It reopened as a very up-market restaurant and cocktail bar, but with a pub part in October 2014.[citation needed]

As of today (2019), is Lebanese restaurant.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Historic England. "Crocker's public house (1357150)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  2. ^ a b Jephcote, Geoff Brandwood & Jane (2008). London heritage pubs : an inside story. St. Albans: Campaign for Real Ale. p. 174. ISBN 9781852492472.
  3. ^ a b c "Crocker's Folly". London Canals. Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Crocker's Folly". Heritage Pubs. CAMRA. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  5. ^ See https://pubshistory.com/LondonPubs/Marylebone/CrownTavernAberdeen.shtml retrieved October 2017.
  6. ^ "This pub is haunted by its founder, Frank Crocker". The Shady Old Lady. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  7. ^ "Crockers Folly, Maida Vale [Closed]". Beer in the evening. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  8. ^ "24 Aberdeen Place, London NW8 8JR" (PDF). City of Westminster Planning. Retrieved 22 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Crocker's Folly, Maida Vale". London Drinker magazine. February–March 2014.

External links[edit]