The Ivy House Pub, Nunhead
Restoration of the 1930s laylights
Built to the south of Peckham Rye in the 1930s, The Ivy House was originally called the Newlands Tavern and was designed by the in-house Truman Brewery architect, AE Sewell. The pub had a Refectory and Ballroom and encouraged families to visit. The Ivy House retains nearly all of its 1930s detailing, as well as neo-Classical and neo-Tudor features common to pubs of this time. The Ivy House was originally next to a row of shops but these were destroyed by a V1 flying-bomb in July 1944. During the 1970s the pub hosted popular rock names including Joe Strummer, Ian Drury and Dr Feelgood. The Ivy House became London's first co-operatively owned pub in 2012.
The 1930s coloured laylights in the Refectory and Ballroom of the Ivy House pub were designed to bring light and air into its the rear rooms but were blocked in the latter half of the 20th century, probably for acoustic reasons. The external lanterns were removed, boarded over and covered with bitumen and the internal laylights were blocked up. The pub struggles with poor ventilation as a result of these alterations. The restoration project has reinstalled the 1930’s textured and coloured glass laylights and reinstated four skylights on the roof using modern systems with electrically powered vents.
The pub hosts a large range of community activities including music, beer and cider festivals, comedy, magic, poetry, yoga, dance classes, etc. The lack of natural light and ventilation previously made it difficult to work in. The reinstatement of the 1930s laylights to their original internal form enhances the appearance the pub and helps to improve its use of the space.