This is basically just a list of all the London-related books I own, as well as including some further reading I’ve done for the blog, which I shall attempt to keep updated. I haven’t even been able to bring all of the information into the blog, so maybe if I’m feeling active I shall try and update past entries with further information as I come to it. I’m also hoping one day to do further primary research, but if I’m honest this may have to wait a few decades until I am retired.
A. PUBS, BEER AND DRINKING CULTURE
Brandwood, Geoff, Andrew Davison and Michael Slaughter. (2004) Licensed to Sell: The History and Heritage of the Public House (London: English Heritage).
This is a fascinating and beautifully illustrated history, well worth acquiring a copy.
Brown, Pete. (2003) Man Walks into a Pub: A Sociable History of Beer (London: Pan, reprinted 2004).
A chatty, observational history, which as the author points out is rather the book equivalent of a talkative bloke down the end of a bar. Even so it manages to fit in lots of interesting observations and historical detail.
Cole, Melissa. (2011) Let Me Tell You about Beer: A Beginner’s Guide to All Things Brewed (London: Pavilion Books).
I have not yet read this, but it is colourfully illustrated with photos and sidebars, and looks to offer a guide, for more than just the beginner, to the history, creation and enjoyment of a global drink.
Jennings, Paul. (2007) The Local: A History of the English Pub (Stroud: Tempus).
A good, sober overview of the development of the pub from around the 17th century onwards, with chapters on social history and recent developments.
Moody, Paul, and Robin Turner. (2011). The Search for the Perfect Pub: Looking for the Moon Under Water (Orion Books).
An enjoyable, partisan account of what makes for a great pub. For a full review, see my post.
Oliver, Garrett (editor). (2011) The Oxford Companion to Beer (New York: Oxford University Press).
Under the editorial control of a US-based brewer, this compendious guide features plenty of information about the process and chemistry of brewing, as well as articles about key brewers and beer styles around the world. It also has sections on the public house, and several British brewers. I haven’t yet read this in detail, but its scope is impressive and like any such guide, it cannot be perfect. The interested reader is pointed to an online wiki site dedicated to correcting entries where the book’s critics feel further clarification is required.
Thorburn, Gordon. (2010) Pocket Guide to Pubs and Their Histories (Barnsley: Remember When).
Don’t be fooled by the title: this isn’t an objective account of pub histories, it’s a plainly subjective view of (and I mean this in the nicest way) one crotchety old geezer about the institution of British pubs. What it lacks in academic distance, it makes up for with character (something the author bemoans the decline of in modern pubs). Pub history is so bound up with individual people and their stories, that perhaps this approach is more ‘true’ to the subject, and I would welcome more books that take this kind of line. It also does a good job dealing with some of the romanticisation that has arisen regarding the origins of many pub names, and has a sideline in depicting various (fictional) modern pubs and their pitfalls. I don’t of course agree with the author about everything, but we are from different generations. (He’s also used one of my photographs without credit, but I’ll forgive him.)
Tierney-Jones, Adrian. (2011) CAMRA’s Great British Pubs (St Albans: Campaign for Real Ale).
This book presents brief reviews of pubs from around the UK, arranged (not unlike this website) by various topics. I haven’t fully read this yet, but it’s an excellent selection, with full-colour photos throughout (some of them mine).
ii. London Pubs (General)
Brandon, David. (2010) London Pubs (Stroud: Amberley).
A slender volume taking the reader through the history of London pubs, with photos and illustrations.
Brandwood, Geoff, and Jane Jephcote. (2008) London Heritage Pubs: An Inside Story (Historic Pub Interiors in the Capital) (St Albans: Campaign for Real Ale).
An exceptionally well-illustrated and clearly laid-out guide, which looks inside all manner of pubs and doesn’t lavish undue attention on central London, covering all areas of Greater London, even if as one might expect it does rather tend towards a certain kind of wood-panelled interior. There are useful sidebars on pub architecture and the history of London brewing.
Bruning, Ted. (1998) Historic Pubs of London (London: Prion).
Features copious colour photos and write-ups of historic pubs all over London. It’s interesting to note how different many of them look even after only a decade.
de Moor, Des. (2011) The CAMRA Guide to London’s Best Beer Pubs & Bars (St Albans: Campaign for Real Ale).
Another selection of pubs taken from around London, including plenty of representation from the outer Boroughs, as well as a few off-licences of note. Lots of information about local brewers and their beers features in the back, and this is generally an excellent guide to the contemporary pub scene. The author keeps his website up to date with the latest reviews.
Gorham, Maurice, and Edward Ardizzone. (2010) The Local (Stanbridge: Little Toller Books). Originally published 1939.
A wonderful book which perhaps could be said to take a wider view than just London pubs, but draws all of its examples (and drawings) from this city. For a full review, see my post.
Haydon, Peter. (1996) A Guide to the Pubs of London: Known Treasures & Hidden Gems (St Albans: Campaign for Real Ale).
A narrow volume without illustrations, but with listings for pubs across London.
Osborn, Helen. (2004) Forever Young’s: A Historical Guide to Some of Britain’s Best Pubs (London: Young & Co.).
Given the brewer’s base in Wandsworth (at least until 2006), this guide is primarily based in London, as this is where the bulk of the Young’s estate lies. Full colour with plenty of photos.
iii. London Pubs (Local)
[None]. (1947) Whitbread’s Brewery (The Whitbread Library) (London: Whitbread & Co.).
An anonymously-authored publication for the brewer about the history of their (now-defunct) Chiswell Street brewery, with colour plates.
[None]. (n/d) North London Beer Guide (St Albans: Campaign for Real Ale).
A basic volume, probably from the mid-1980s, listing North London pubs (including WC1).
Berry, George. (1978) Taverns and Tokens of Pepys’ London (London: Seaby Publications).
This book catalogues tokens which were given out by pubs for spending on their premises in the 17th century as a way to trace the pubs mentioned in the works of Pepys. Possibly of antiquarian interest only? It does get very detailed, though.
Macfie, A.L. (1973) The Crown & Anchor Tavern: The Birthplace of Birkbeck College (London: Birkbeck College).
This is a short 16-page pamphlet about a single pub, detailing all its political and literary associations, along with reproductions of drawings and maps showing it and its location. Obviously, the focus of interest is in its place in the foundation of one of London’s leading institutions, as the pub itself is long, long gone.
Packer, James. (2005) Lost Pubs of Bexley: Pubs Created After 1830 and Since Closed (London: Bexley Council).
A well-illustrated book of pubs arranged by areas within the London Borough of Bexley, including plans, drawings, old maps and old photos. A work exuding copious local historical research.
Pound, Patricia. (2006) Romford Pubs (Images of England) (Stroud: Tempus).
A heavily image-based tour of Romford’s hostelries, including plenty of archive photos and some good historical information.
Roulstone, Alan, and Michael Roulstone. (1973) Taverns in Town: A Pictorial Anthology (Huntingdon: Balfour/Travellers Rest).
A walk around pubs in London accompanied by pen and ink drawings.
iv. London Brewers and Brewing
Osborn, Helen. (1999) Britain’s Oldest Brewery: The Story Behind the Success of Young’s of Wandsworth (London: Young & Co.).
A history of Young’s, the brewers who were based in Wandsworth until after this book was published (they left there in 2006). As it’s an official history, it’s rather rose-tinted of course, and is very fond of the company and their unwavering dedication to real ale (with forays into lager rather downplayed). Still, there’s plenty of archival photos, and good historical detail (going back to their foundation as Young & Bainbridge in 1831 and before), as well as useful appendices.
Cooper, Terry, and John Gent. (1981) Around London by Tram: London Street Scenes between 1900 and 1935 Taken from Period Postcards (Sheffield: Sheaf Publishing).
The photo reproductions aren’t great, but it turns out lots of local pubs feature in the background to these images of trams and tramlines around London and its borders. Trams sadly disappeared by the mid-20th century, but many of the pubs are still there.
Davies, Philip. (2010) Panoramas of Lost London: Work, Wealth, Poverty and Change 1870-1945 (Croxley Green: Transatlantic Press, 2011).
A huge and weighty book based around beautifully reproduced old photos of London, many of which feature former pubs, very few of which (if any) still survive.
Glinert, Ed. (2000) Literary London: A Street-by-Street Exploration of the Capital’s Literary Heritage (London: Penguin, reprinted 2007), originally published as A Literary Guide to London.
Goes through by street and picks out the landmarks of literary interest. Very readable.
Glinert, Ed. (2003) The London Compendium: A Street-by-Street Exploration of the Hidden Metropolis (London: Penguin, reprinted 2004).
More of the same, does just as it says, and highlights really interesting sites and buildings, and tells the sometimes idiosyncratic stories behind them.
Robbins, Michael. (1953) Middlesex (Chichester: Phillimore & Co., new edition 2003).
A chunky text-based volume (with some photographic plates in the middle) dealing in depth with this historical county. There’s an extensive place-name gazetteer at the end.
Weinreb, Ben, and Christopher Hibbert (editors). (1983) The London Encyclopaedia, 1st edition (London: Macmillan).
An exhaustive history of various places, institutions and buildings within London, and an invaluable resource. I can’t pretend to have it read it all, of course, but I dip in here and there. There’s now a third edition available.
White, Jerry. (2001) London in the 20th Century: A City and Its People (London: Vintage, reprinted 2008).
A very fine history of a rather tumultuous century.
White, Jerry. (2007) London in the 19th Century: A Human Awful Wonder of God (London: Vintage, reprinted 2008).
Another fine overview of a century in the nation’s capital.
Willey, Russ. (2006) Chambers London Gazetteer (Edinburgh: Chambers).
A rather marvellous guide to all the significant areas within the Greater London boundaries (every rail and tube station has an entry, as well as plenty of areas with no matching station). It has histories and information about their names and development, as well as interesting features found therein.
Willey, Russ. (2010) Brewer’s Dictionary of London Phrase & Fable (London: Chambers).
This dictionary includes more entries about areas of London, but with huge amounts of extra information about local figures and history, as well as London-specific phrases and stories (as you might expect).
ii. Local History
Aston, Mark, and Lesley Marshall. (2011) King’s Cross: A Tour in Time, 2nd edition (London: Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre).
A tour in photographs of the area immediately adjacent to King’s Cross and St Pancras stations, including some old pub photos.
de Freitas, Ricci. (2010) The Story of Marchmont Street: Bloomsbury’s Original High Street, 3rd edition (London: Marchmont Association).
This short and colourful guide uses archival photographs from 1903 and 1930, as well as the present, to depict the changes in a single central London street. There are two pubs on the street, the Lord John Russell and the Marquis Cornwallis, which figure amongst much else.
Denford, Steven, and David A. Hayes (editors). (2008) Streets East of Bloomsbury: A Survey of Streets, Buildings & Former Residents in a Part of Camden (London: Camden History Society).
Ten walking tours around the area between Woburn Place/Southampton Row in the west and King’s Cross Road in the east, Euston Road in the north and High Holborn in the south. There’s plenty of good historical information, including about local pubs.
Bloch, Howard. (1995) Newham Dockland (Images of London) (Stroud: Tempus, reprinted 2006).
Another of this Stroud-based publishers many archival photo-based volumes. Pubs featured heavily in the life of the Docklands, so feature here also.
Cox, Alan. (1995) Docklands in the Making: The Redevelopment of the Isle of Dogs 1981-1995 (Survey of London) (London: The Athlone Press/Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of England).
A detailed history of the regeneration of the Isle of Dogs, a revised and updated version of text originally found in the fuller two-volume Survey of London study Poplar, Blackwall and the Isle of Dogs (1994). As with all the volumes in this magisterial series, there is a huge amount of historical and architectural detail, though touching only tangentially on the local pubs where affected by the regeneration.
Hector, John. (2002) Poplar Memories (Stroud: Sutton Publishing).
One man’s memoirs of growing up in the area of East London, illustrated by old photos. There’s a section of reminiscences about pubs including some excellent photos.
Kemp, Richard. (1904) Some Notes on the Ward of Aldgate, Its Neighbourhood and Its Ancient & Modern History (London: Eden Fisher, reprinted 1935).
Some nice old photos and plans of the streets, with a full appendix.
Marriott, John. (2011) Beyond the Tower: A History of East London (New Haven/London: Yale University Press).
This is primarily a scholarly history of the East End, which can seem a little dry at times, but is great for information about social trends and the huge changes to the area over the last few centuries.
Allardyce, Alex. (2008) The Village That Changed the World: A History of Newington Green, London N16 (London: Newington Green Action Group).
A small local history with some photos, largely unrelated to pubs.
Gay, Ken. (2002) History & Guide: Muswell Hill (Stroud: Tempus).
A local historian on a predominantly middle-class residential area.
Miller, Mervyn. (2006) Hampstead Garden Suburb (Images of England), pocket edition (Stroud: Nonsuch).
This small edition of an archival photo book has lots about the idealistic founder of the Garden Suburb, and its utopian vision, but as the entire estate was designed strictly without pubs, there is only one pub image, that of the nearby Royal Oak on Finchley Road (now gone).
Smith, Gavin. (2006) Stoke Newington (Images of England), pocket edition (Stroud: The History Press, reprinted 2009).
A small book with archive photos of the eponymous area, showing some pubs in passing.
Beasley, John D. (2009) Peckham & Nunhead Through Time (Stroud: Amberley).
Comparative photos of SE15 showing how it used to be and how it is now, with explanatory text. Some pubs feature.
Blanch, William Harnett. (1877) Ye Parish of Camberwell: A Brief Account of the Parish of Camberwell, Its History and Antiquities (London: E.W. Allen).
A large and chunky book. It even has a few pages about ‘hostelries’.
Rhind, Neil. (1976) Blackheath Village and Environs, Volume I: The Village and Blackheath Vale (London: Bookshop Blackheath).
This is very much a street-by-street and almost building-by-building survey of the centre of Blackheath, with the history of address charted in phenomenal detail, including the three pubs of the Village (the Crown, the Railway Tavern, and the Three Tuns).
Woollacott, Ron. (1995) A Historical Tour of Nunhead and Peckham Rye (London: Magdala Terrace).
A walking tour pamphlet, unattractively presented, but with plenty of historical information.
Greenacombe, John (editor). (2000) Survey of London volume XLV, Knightsbridge (London: The Athlone Press/English Heritage).
Like all volumes in this magisterial series, this is illustrated with a huge number of photographic plates, plans and maps. Although few pubs in the area survive 19th and early-20th century rebuilding, there is plenty of excellent historical information on those that used to exist here.
iii. Maps and Plans
Barber, Peter. (2012) London: A History in Maps (London: London Topographical Society/The British Library).
An astoundingly gorgeous volume tying in with an exhibition which had been held at the British Library, with full colour, high-quality reproductions of maps and plans (and paintings) from London’s entire history, including some interesting ones showing licensed establishments.
Tallis, John. (2002) John Tallis’s London Street Views 1838-1840, 2nd edition (London: London Topographical Society).
This amazing book presents all the hand-drawn 19th century street views and drawings of John Tallis, with additional modern essays and notes.
iv. Specialist Topics
Crowe, Andrew. (1987) The Parks and Woodlands of London (London: Fourth Estate).
Plenty of useful historical and social information about most of London’s parks, as well as smaller entries of many of the other green spaces around the capital.
Hanley, Lynsey. (2007) Estates: An Intimate History (London: Granta).
Once you get past the introduction and into the book, it starts to accrue all kinds of historical and social detail which becomes really fascinating. As well as exploring the rise of the council housing estate, it also dissects its place in society and its many failures, building up a sustained critique on the failure of housing in the 20th century.
Whitgift Arms (Croydon pubs)