Culture Magazine

From the Archives: the Black Friar

By Carolineld @carolineld
Where better to spend a Sunday than with the Black Friars? These particular monks are especially cheerful as they're to be found at one of London's most distinctive pubs.
From the archives: the Black FriarFrom the archives: the Black FriarOne of London's more extraordinary pubs commemorates the Dominican priory which once stood nearby. It was a wealthy and powerful institution, closely connected to government; indeed, the Privy Council often met there and it served as a depository for state records. However, since the monastery was dissolved during the Reformation and the pub not built until 1875 and remodelled in 1905, its designers were free to indulge in a fantasy version of monastic living. Thus the Black Friar, at the northern end of Blackfriars Bridge, is an elaborate riot of monks enjoying good food and good drink. What's more, they encourage the passer-by to join in the fun:
From the archives: the Black Friar
Well, how could I resist? Inside, architect H Fuller-Clarke and artist Henry Poole have filled the space with metal reliefs, mosaics and stained glass. The style is heavily influenced by Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts.
From the archives: the Black Friar
A back room was later added, filled with mottos (none of which discourage the visitor from eating or drinking!)
From the archives: the Black Friar
And what better message for a Thursday afternoon than this:
From the archives: the Black Friar

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