518 Wandsworth Road was purchased at auction in spring 2015. Incumbent in the ground floor and basement was a wine bar known as ‘Mist on the Rocks’. Marstons already owned the Plough Brewery building, purchased in 1968, so to purchase the pub next door seemed the obvious thing to do.
The wine bar that opened after Youngs sold the pub in 2012 had been struggling with foot fall after the Artesian Well and Lost Society night club and bar venues opposite both lost their extended licences. Due to the loss of business the occupier asked to walk away from their lease but working with them we agreed terms so they could keep going until 2017.
In the meantime we acquired the said night club venues opposite so by 2016 we found ourselves with a ‘placemaking’ opportunity.
A neighbourhood consultation took place in March 2019 and CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) consulted. It became clear that the neighbours didn’t want three night time venues in such close proximity and CAMRA could see that three drinking establishments so close together wasn’t sustainable.
Our plans were lodged during 2018 and finally the Grade II listed building at 518 Wandsworth Road was granted Listed Buildings Consent in April 2020 , just after lock down and planning permission followed in the autumn.
A big thank you must go to the Lambeth planning department who kept our application moving during lock down.
The building was originally three houses that formed part of an elegant Georgian terrace . Parts of one of the original staircases are still in place . A pub or ‘tap room’ was installed in number 518 sometime after the Plough Brewery was built in 1868- there is an old bricked up doorway that would have connected the pub to the Brewery once upon a time .By the early part of the 20th century the pub had expanded in to numbers 520 and 522. By the 1930's it was owned and operated by Youngs Breweries when the pub was expanded to the rear and the ‘Faience’ tiled pub frontage installed.
Supervised by McDaniel Woolf Architects the renovation work began in December 2020 by our own in house team who have begun to carefully peel back the layers of various pub and wine bar fit outs carried out over the years . Despite all the cutting and carving we are really pleased to have found a few original Georgian fixtures and fittings including some pegs, cupboard doors , match boarding and wide floorboards . These will all be retained within the renovated building. The original roof profile is to be preserved despite all the adjacent houses in the terrace having lost theirs to mansard roof extensions.
The upper parts, once the accommodation for the pub managers will become two flats to rent , a small but characterful one bedroom and a three bedroom flat with a roof terrace . Even though we are creating new dwellings we are largely following the original pattern of rooms .
The two flats will be available to rent towards the end of 2021. The ground floor will become a café with working and meeting spaces operating in conjunction with the offices at the Plough . The basement will provide showers and changing rooms for the office occupiers as well as small workshops and bike stowage .