Painting the George Tavern, Commercial Road, E1


The George Tavern, to me, looks like a small castle, standing proud in the Commercial Road, flying it's flag for all London history lovers to see. The shape of the building appeals to me, as does the ornate gold filigree decoration over the arched doors and windows. I'd never before seen a pub with flags at full mast and it really stood out to me. When I admired the building I found myself wishing that the original pub sign was held by the empty metal 'sign holder', I wonder if it still exists?


I painted the George Tavern two years ago and would like to paint it again on a larger canvas so I can include finer details. I used acrylic paint on canvas to produce this painting.


The George Tavern is a Grade II listed public house and music venue located at 373 Commercial Road, London, E1. The pub was previously known as the Halfway House and the building contains brickwork that is over 700 years old.


Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys and Geoffrey Chaucer have all included the pub in some of their writings and it still attracts a lot of creative people today (including me!).


The George Tavern is believed to have originated in the mid-17th century and was built on the site of the Halfway House. Map evidence shows that the Halfway House was rebuilt in the 18th century, some time after 1745, approximately 50 yards to the north east of the earlier inn.


The current building was built between 1820 and 1825 and is listed on Greenwood's map of London 1827 (Christopher and John Greenwood were brother cartographers who produced large scale maps of England and Wales in the 1820s). The pub was part of the Commercial Road development which was created following the Commercial Road Act of 1802 which linked the newly built East India Docks and West India Docks to the boundary of the City of London.


In 1862 architect James Harrison remodelled the interior of the ground floor of the pub and in 1891 another architect called R. A. Lewcock remodelled it again.


In the 1970s a nightclub called Stepneys was added in a building that backs onto the pub and it was famous for its illuminated dance floor.


The pub is currently owned by artist Pauline Forster and it has been used in a lot of films, videos and photo shoots.





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