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Historic Kilburn pub forced to close after flood damages ornate ceiling

PUBLISHED: 13:12 23 July 2020 | UPDATED: 08:56 24 July 2020

Black Lion in Kilburn. Picture: @pubsaving

Black Lion in Kilburn. Picture: @pubsaving

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A grade II listed pub in Kilburn has been forced to close after a flood damaged its ornate ceiling.

The ornate ceiling in Grade II listed Black Lion in Kilburn before being partly destroyed by flood. Picture: @pubsavingThe ornate ceiling in Grade II listed Black Lion in Kilburn before being partly destroyed by flood. Picture: @pubsaving

The Black Lion, in Kilburn High Road, recently celebrated re-opening for business following the Covid lockdown.

But a pipe burst in its guest house upstairs and damaged the “beautiful ornate ceiling” of the pub below.

“We had a bit of a flood,” Rebekah Stephen, office manager, said. “We’re devastated to close our door just after being able to open after the pandemic - it’s an insult to injury.

“We’re looking forward to opening again, we just have to fix the ceiling and are waiting for it to be repaired.”

Boxes containing broken piece of Black Lion's ornate ceiling damaged in flood. Picture: @pubsavingBoxes containing broken piece of Black Lion's ornate ceiling damaged in flood. Picture: @pubsaving

The pub, which dates back to 1898, was first listed in May 1974 and is also listed on CAMRA’s National Inventory of Pub Interiors of Outstanding Historic Interest.

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The interior contains carved panels, a plaster work ceiling with medallions and several gilded bas relief plaques on the walls, designed by FA Callcott.

Walking past the pub Joanne Scott, pub protection officer for CAMRA NW London, said she saw three boxes containing broken pieces of the ceiling “next to the bins”.

Ms Stephen said: “We kept them outside because they’re sunny. We will still hold on to them as we want to mimic what we had before.

“We have been visited by Heritage UK. At the moment we’re still trying to get our bearings about the next step.”

Ms Scott said: “It is very sad to hear about the damage to the beautiful ornate plaster ceiling of the Grade II listed Black Lion pub, which has been a Kilburn landmark since it was built in 1898. We hope that the sensitive restoration required is carried out under the guidance of Camden Council conservation officer and Historic England.

“Hopefully the parts of the original ceiling that were saved can be used in the restoration.”

A Camden Council spokesperson said: “We are sad to hear of the damage to this grade II listed pub.

“Council officers will be visiting the Black Lion to assess the damage and they have already spoken to the owner, who we will be supporting with conservation guidance during the restoration of the ceiling.”


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