Herne Arms / The Harriers Pub

Just finished on the corner of Wanless Road and Herne Hill Road is a new Apartment Block.

New flats wanless Road

Photo taken from the Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward website, 2015

The site had been derelict and empty for many years following the demolition of a Public House that had existed on that corner for 125 years or so.

The Harriers pub photo from whatpub.com

Photographer and Date: Unknown.

That pub was known as the Herne Arms. The first landlord was Mr Alfred Chettle. He was landlord from 1878 to 1892 . Unfortunately, Mr Chettle took his own life in 1892.

Reynold's Newspaper 27 November 1892

Extract from Reynold’s Newspaper 27 November, 1892. The British Newspaper Archive.

On 30th January, 1882 James Knight was tried at the Old Bailey for passing off counterfeit coin – namely a George 1V half-crown in a bakery at 150 Newington Butts. James Knight’s defence was he had received the coin as change in the Herne Arms, Loughborough Junction. However, presumably because there was not enough evidence and good character statements given he was found Not Guilty.

Photographs of the Herne Arms are almost impossible to find however in a local history book was this photo:

Herne Arms  on Herne Hill Road no date but beofre Trams arrived xx

Photo taken from The Book of Herne Hill by Patricia M Jenkyns

Not a particularly clear photo –  a scanned copy. It does show the Herne Arms in the upper right hand section. It was taken before 1913, as there are no Tram lines visible.

Around 1990 the Herne Arms changed it’s name to The Harriers, very probably a reference to the Herne Hill Harriers who for many years had been a highly competitive Athletics club based in the area, formed in Milkwood Road

The Harriers, 2003 Photo by George Young taken from Herne Hill Heritage Trail published The Herne Hill Society, revised edition 2013 (2)

Photo taken in 2003 by George Young and found in the Herne Hill Heritage Trail published by the Herne Hill Society, revised edition, 2013.

The pub  did not have a particulary good reputation in it’s later years and was subject to regular police visits. I did have a few pints on occasion in The Harriers but more often spent time in the Lord Stanley at the other end of Wanless Road.

It was demolished by the developers in 2003,and remained vacant until planning permisson was granted for the current building in 2012.

I do remember one incident returning home from work one day to find a crowd of people gathered around the plot. Apparently a stolen car had crashed off the road and landed in the dug out basement. This was, if my memory is correct before the  solid fencing was erected.

Credits include:

Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward website, 2015

The British Newspaper Archive

Old Bailey Online website

The Book of Herne Hill by Patricia M Jenkyns, Halsgrove, published , 2003

Herne Hill Heritage Trail published for the Herne Hill Society  in 2003 by Local History Publications , revised edition re-published in 2013.

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