London: Wilton’s Music Hall; a piece of history tucked away near Cable street

Mahogany Bar in Grace's Alley

Mahogany Bar in Graces Alley

If you turn off of Cable Street just a short walk from the tourist hoards in Tower Bridge, turn into the little-used Graces Alley and you will find a small row of four terrace houses that is Wilton’s Music Hall.

One of the earliest exponents of musical theatre, it claims to be the first pub to install a Mahogany bar named, unimaginatively, the Mahogany Bar, which still exists today.

Corner of the bar

Corner of the bar

After running as a musical theatre establishment in the 1800s it eventually fell into the hands of a Methodist mission, who changed it from the ‘debauchery’ of it’s heyday into a place of worship, operating a soup kitchen for the burgeoning urban poor of the East End, and calling it the Mahogany Mission.

Then it fell into disrepair again before being revamped more recently into a unique venue for a variety of shows, as well as being hired out for weddings and other functions.

IMG_2804It has been popular with filmmakers over the past few decades; in the 1980s it featured in the video for Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Relax and Annie Lenox’s No more I love yous.

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It also featured in the 1990 biopic of the Krays with the Kemp brothers, where it became their nightclub.

Anyway, the Mahogany Bar is a nice place to get a drink, even if you don’t fancy any of the shows. They also do history tours if you’re interested in learning more.

4 replies »

  1. Hey Sarah how lovely is this. I couldn’t agree with you more re both the Kemps and small town suburbia! Hope all is well x

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