Book Addiction

Seductive merchants of the mind

The King of Denmark, Ridgway

Dear Dad,

After a long campaign resisting development by local residents lasting more than two years, the Planning Inspectorate have finally given permission for the demolition of the King of Denmark pub on Ridgway, in the heart of the West Wimbledon Conservation Area. It is expected to be replaced by a new building resembling the next door shops. There’s to be a ‘gastro pub’ at street level and offices above.


King of Denmark Pub on Ridgway, Wimbledon Village, May 2009
King of Denmark Pub on Ridgway, Wimbledon Village, May 2009

In the end the local residents group conceded that the building was ‘not of such architectural quality that we could sustain an objection to the principle of demolition”. Got to agree with them there – although in fairness, it seems the objections were based not so much on the demolition of the existing building but reservations about the design quality of the successively proposed alternatives for the site.

Notes for a guided walk around Wimbledon suggest the pub was established around the 1860s but I have no idea how good a source that it. According to the current owners of the site, the building we see today (but perhaps not for much longer?) was purpose built as a public house with a saloon bar in 1933. I have seen a photo of the Ridgway taken just before the first world war which shows the King of Denmark but the building is very different – at that time it sold ‘Maidstone Ales’ (see Richard Milward’s Historic Wimbledon).

It is said that the King of Denmark used to be part of the (in)famous ‘Wimbledon Eight’ pub crawl – a favourite pass time of the talented actor and renoun drinker, Oliver Reed.

19 May 2009 (photos taken 12 May 2009)


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