Still serving up booze a-plenty and providing splendid entertainment in Brixton is the pub formerly known as Ye Olde White Horse.
Now operating as a popular live music venue under the name of Brixton Jamm, the venue was also known as Bar Lorca in the late 1990s/early 2000s.
The former coaching inn stands on the corner of Loughborough Road and Brixton Road, SW9, and in this 1905 postcard view proudly boasts a ‘Grand Billiard Saloon.’
Not to be confused with the White Horse on Brixton Hill (or indeed, the closed Black Horse further along Brixton Road), the White Horse has been a fixture on Brixton Road for centuries, and appears on a route map as far back as 1790.
The White Horse as seen on the 1865 Whitbread map of London.
The White Horse mapped in more detail on the OS map of 1892-1905.
This c. 1910 postcard view shows an animated street scene with a woman in the foreground skipping out of the way of an oncoming tram and horse drawn wagon. Read more about Brixton’s trams here.
Zooming in to the postcard scene, you can see several horse drawn vehicles in the pub’s courtyard. All have an advertisement for Nestlé’s Milk at the front.
Nestlé was formed in 1905 by the merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1866 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé. The company grew significantly during the First World War and again following the Second World War, expanding its offerings beyond its early condensed milk and infant formula products [—]
The pub frontage has barely changed in over a century. The former billiard room (to the left of the main pub building) now hosts a live music room which was recently refurbished. It’s a great live music venue – we liked it so much we ran our Offline Club night there for many years.
A busy scene on Brixton Road. Note the tram heading towards the camera, and the Ye Olde White Horse pub sign to the right.
Exclusive look at the Old White Horse clock, which is kept inside the venue’s offices.
Taxis outside the pub, as seen in a 1920s postcard view. [—]
Petrol cabs were introduced to London in 1903, with the fitting of taximeters made compulsory in 1907. Cabs thus fitted became known as ‘taxicabs’, abbreviated to ‘taxis’. They’re also known as hackney cabs or carriages, a phrase derived from the Norman French word ‘hacquenée’ meaning a type of horse suitable for hire. [—].
By 1944, the pub was under the ownership of White’s Catering Inns Ltd, but by October 1951 the London Gazette was reporting that the company had been wound up.
In the 1990s, the pub was reinvented as a Spanish themed, tapas-serving restaurant called Bar Lorca (as seen above in June 2003), with regular Salsa nights (although Grime/Drum’n’Bass soon become a regular presence in the venue, as well as the popular Ministry of Unsound events).
[Brixton Jamm in December 2016]
See more Brixton history:
On Brixton Buzz
On the boards
On the comprehensive urban75 Brixton history archives