Dickens Inn, St Katherines Dock

The Dickens Inn, has nothing to do with Dickens except that his grandson also called Charles opened it in 1976. The original building which probably dated from the 1790s stood on the Thames side site just east of its current location. It is not known what it was originally used for, perhaps for brewing or as a spice warehouse. In the 1820’s its timber frame was encased in a more modern brick shell to make the warehouse conform to the architectural style of St Katherine’s by Thomas Telford. The building survived the war only to be condemned for demolition for redevelopment in the 1970’s.

The Dickens Inn at St.Katherines Dock

The Dickens Inn at St.Katherines Dock

It was reprieved when they discovered the interesting timbers concealed inside the exterior skin of brick
It could not stay on its original site as this had been earmarked for housing under the St Katherine dockland development scheme. The 120 ton timber shell was moved some 70 yards and erected on this present site. The original timbers tailboards and ironwork were used in the restoration and the building reconstructed in the style of a three storey balconied inn of the 18 century.
The top room is the Dickens Room, the 1st floor is the Pickwick room and the ground floor is the Tavern. Real ales and the in house brewed Dickens own bitter is drawn from casks as are the Spirits and Sherrys which are drawn from wood, and it has sawdust on the floor.Pevsner says rather pithily the pubs present beguiling weatherboarded and galleried exterior by Renton Howard Wood Levin Partnership 1975-6 is a fantasy, fantasy or not it is an attractive and obviously successful pub.

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