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Press Release


Historic Clerkenwell pub celebrated for its tasteful refurbishment

The Sekforde is ‘highly commended’ in CAMRA’s Pub Design Award Refurbishment category

For more information, contact press@camra.org.uk or call 01727 337 863

The Sekforde pub in Clerkenwell, London has been ‘highly commended’ in CAMRA’s Pub Design Awards following nearly 200 years of serving pints.

The pub, which has been in operation since 1829, remained open without a break for 176 years until it was temporarily closed for a much-needed re-development, repairs and restorations in 2015. Architects Chris Dyson and Associated worked with the Magnificent Basement Company Ltd to carry out the redevelopment work to restore the pub to its former glory – capturing all the charm of a late Georgian Pub whilst offering the very best in modern facilities.

The Sekforde stands at the confluence of two historic and unspoilt early 19th century streets in the heart of Clerkenwell London. The historic building has been tied to a beautiful new extension by a striking glass atrium and the artist Anthony Eyton RA has crafted a beautiful quadriptych which hangs on the far wall of the atrium.

CAMRA will be celebrating the achievement with a presentation event today, just days before the launch of its Summer of Pub campaign, which aims to promote pub-going over the warmer months and celebrate the contribution of the great British pub to our heritage.

Andrew Davison, chair of CAMRA’s judging panel said: “The refurbishment has transformed this handsome late Georgian building inside and out, returning it to restrained elegance and respecting its early nineteenth-century origins.

“The bar downstairs is refreshingly uncluttered, with plain wooden panelling and bare floorboards. Unlike many pubs where keg fonts dominate bar counters, the keg dispensers at the Sekforde are confined to the ends of the counter. A charming mural depicting Sekforde Almshouses of 1587 in Woodbridge, Suffolk, dominates the wall at one end of the room and ground source heating and cooling means that the pub uses roughly 15% of the energy of a conventional pub of its size. All in all the pub has been refurbished in a very sensitive way.”

Owner David Lonsdale said: “We are delighted by this award which recognises the restored beauty of the Sekforde. It is especially pleasing to receive it from CAMRA, which has done so much to defend the wonderful tradition of pubs in this country. Of course, what really makes a pub is its staff, customers and beer. We have the very best of all three!”

Images of the Sekforde are available here

The Pub Design Awards, run in conjunction with Historic England, recognise the very best in British pub architecture and design. This year’s winners include:

  • The Pilot Boat in Lyme Regis for a refurbishment project described as a ‘labour of love’ by Palmers Brewery which brought the tired and dated seaside inn into the modern era

  • The Royal Pavilion in Ramsgate for the conversion of a dilapidated pavilion to a bustling seaside pub by Wetherspoons

  • The Slaughterhouse in Guernsey for the inspired conversion of a historic slaughterhouse into a unique and distinctive pub in the hub of St Peter’s Port by R W Randall

  • The Coopers Tavern in Burton-on-Trent for Joules’ Brewery’s tasteful conservation of the historic tap house dating back to the 1800s

  • The Cardigan Arms in Leeds which was saved from closure by Kirstall Brewery, which turned around the pub’s fortunes

Pubs that were highly commended include:

  • The Sekforde Arms, London for its restoration after nearly 200 years of serving pints

  • The Butcher’s Hook, Thornbury which was left empty and derelict before significant investment brought the former butcher shop back to life

  • The Draughtsman Alehouse, Doncaster which was transformed from a disused storage area into a bustling micropub on platform 3b of Doncaster rail station