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The Black Friar Public House

A Grade II* Listed Building in City of London, City of London

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Latitude: 51.5121 / 51°30'43"N

Longitude: -0.1037 / 0°6'13"W

OS Eastings: 531684

OS Northings: 180948

OS Grid: TQ316809

Mapcode National: GBR ND.V3

Mapcode Global: VHGR0.5804

Plus Code: 9C3XGV6W+RG

Entry Name: The Black Friar Public House

Listing Date: 5 June 1972

Grade: II*

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1285723

English Heritage Legacy ID: 199713

Location: Farringdon, City of London, London, EC4V

County: City of London

Electoral Ward/Division: Farringdon Within

Built-Up Area: City of London

Traditional County: Middlesex

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): City of London

Church of England Parish: St Andrew-by-the-Wardrobe

Church of England Diocese: London

Find accommodation in


(North Side)
No 174
(The Black Friar Public Houses)
TQ 3180 NE 14/400 5.6.72


Public house. c1875, remodelled c1905 & 1917 by H Fuller Clark,
architect, & Frederick Callcott & Henry Poole, sculptors. Yellow stock
brick with granite & Portland stone dressings; mosaic, sculpture &
copper panel enrichment. Flat roof with 2 tall chimneys. Roughly
triangular plan on a corner site. 4 storeys & cellars. 1 window to
Queen Victoria Street, 1 to chamfered angle & 3 to New Bridge Street
return. Ground floor public house frontage extends around the building
with segmental arched entrances to both streets & the angle. Transom
& mullion windows with small panes above segmental arched cellar
lights. Above, a deep mosaic fascia carrying the words "Saloon / 174
/ The Black Friar / 174 / Brandies". Fascia interrupted by carved
panels, depicting drinking & devilry, which surmount entrance flanking
piers with bronze directional & advertising panels depicting friars.
Queen Victoria Street entrance with mosaic tympanum of a friar. Above
each entrance an elaborate wrought-iron sign with lamp. Upper floor
windows architraved; those to Queen Victoria Street tripartite with
enriched pediments to 1st & 2nd floor; angle with clock to 1st floor
&enriched segmental pediments to 2nd; New Bridge street with enriched
pediments to 1st & 2nd floor apart from that above entrance with
segmental pediment extending from doorcase. Patterned cast-iron window
guards. Projecting cornice & blocking course. Fine Arts & Crafts
interior clad in variegated marble with brass, mosaic, wood & copper
reliefs. Small, windowless extra rear vaulted room, known as the
Grotto, excavated from a railway vault, designed by Clark in 1913 but
not executed until 1917-21 owing to the war. In the main bar features
include the enriched fireplace recess, framed by a broad tripartite
arch, which encloses corner seats; grate with firedogs surmounted by
imps; overmantle has bronze bas-relief of singing friars entitled
"Carols", flanked by 2 friars' heads with swags above seats. Stained
glass window depicting a friar in a sunlit garden. Above the bar, a
bronze bas-relief entitled "Tomorrow will be Friday" depicting monks
catching trout and eels; above the entrance to the Grotto, a further
relief entitled "Saturday afternoon" depicting gardening monks whose
produce is coloured in enamels. Barrel-vaulted Grotto entered from 3
arcaded arches with bas-relief monks on the pillars. Mosaic vaults
with marble-clad ribs. Features of interest include end walls each
with a bronze relief, one entitled "Don't advertise, tell a gossip"
with a group of monks doing the weekly wash, the other entitled "A
good thing is soon snatched up" depicting monks pushing a trussed pig
in a wheelbarrow. On the cornice below, devils representing music,
drama, painting & literature. Side walls have 6 alabaster capitals
illustrating nursery rhymes, 16 smaller capitals illustrating Aesop's
Fables & mottoes such as "Haste is slow" in good electro-gilt letters
by the Birmingham Guild. 4 lamp brackets with alabaster figures of
Morning, Evening, Noon and Night holding up a bronze monk with water
buckets. Extra at one end with a relief entitled "Contentment
surpasses riches" depicting a sleeping monk surrounded by fairies,
executed with mother of pearl and semi-precious stone inlay. The
"window" below with red marble colonettes is an arrangement of
mirrors. Further mirrors in the Grotto enhance the small space.

Listing NGR: TQ3168480948

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