Let’s get the Royal Vauxhall Tavern listed…and saved forever

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern is simply legend. There is no other word to describe it.

And we have the opportunity to protect it now and for the future. Lambeth Council recently made the RVT an ‘asset of community value’ which gives it a certain level of protection, namely that the community get first right of refusal should it be put up for sale. However this does not guarantee its future and I have seen other venues  go by the wayside with communities unable to meet asking prices and developers simply able to mothball or go ahead with sale regardless. 


That is why I’ve written to Historic England asking them to list the RVT. That would prevent the RVT from being redeveloped as has happened with other LGBT venues across London, many of them turned into flats to cash in on prime locations in central London. (This is directly as a result of ‘cutting red tape’ in planning laws which the Tories brought in. Now is not the time for party politics but I raise it to demonstrate that politics does matter in all sorts of ways, directly or indirectly) 

My Letter is here – RVT Letter

There are many reasons why buildings can be considered for listing and the guidance from the Department for Culture Media and Sport is here. The criteria to focus on for me is definitely that of “Historic Interest. To be of special historic interest a building must illustrate important aspects of the nation’s social, economic, cultural, or military history and/or have close historical associations with nationally important people. There should normally be some quality of interest in the physical fabric of the building itself to justify the statutory protection afforded by listing.”

I am certain that everyone has a story to tell about the RVT and I urge you to write to ask that the RVT is considered for listing. Please furnish with your experiences, your view on the historical importance over decades of the RVT to the LGBT community and your rationale for saving it for future generations. Please write or email your responses to:

Ms Patience Trevor
Designation Team South
Historic England
1 Waterhouse Square
138 – 142 Holborn


Many thanks for your support – it is important so please take some time out to make a difference

Cllr Jack Hopkins – Labour Councillor for Oval ward, Lambeth Cabinet Member for Jobs & Growth and Friend of the RVT


Author: jackhopkins

Labour Councillor for Oval ward in London Borough of Lambeth, and Cabinet Member for Jobs and Growth covering economic development, regeneration, planning and entrepreneurship. (formerly Community Safety) Interested in partnerships, training and development, social mobility and Arsenal.

2 thoughts on “Let’s get the Royal Vauxhall Tavern listed…and saved forever”

  1. Listing the Tavern (a notion I am not averse to) would entail, at the very minimum (Grade 2) the complete reinstatement of the exterior to it’s original (as built) state including putting the windows back, a grade 1 listing would entail the full restoration of the interior to it’s original floor plan with a divided bar and no stage, personally I am a fan of having the windows restored, albeit with a twist (Electric pink glass, that can be obscured at the flick of a switch would be, although very expensive, amazing) but the costs involved for a full restoration would be highly prohibitive and the LGBT community of today would loose the Tavern we know and love so much, as it would no longer be a venue suitable for performance (today’s risk averse insurers are hardly likely to allow performance on the bar, a la Lily Savage), please, be careful what you wish for… I say all this as a committed fan of RVT…

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