A Grade II listed pub in Grove Park now has a new owner after campaigners battled for 14 years to save it.

The Baring Hall Hotel, one of England’s first 'improved pubs', was first built in 1882.

The new owner, Gary Mallen, took on the historic pub after seeing its “potential”, and is set to start work on restoring the historic building.

However, he admitted that the large project of restoring the pub would be a challenging one.

Mr Mallen said: “It’s clear that the Baring Hall Hotel has always had enormous potential as a pub.

“It is going to be quite a challenge getting the building up and running and we will have to do it in phases as it’s a large project.

“But I am looking forward to the day that we can welcome our first customers through the doors.”

The pub has had a long history, withstanding the bombings of World War II and two fires, and has had several owners over its lifetime.

However, the pub has faced potential demolition following an application to bulldoze the building in 2011.

The building is currently on Historic Britain’s Heritage at Risk register, following a fire in 2009 that led to the closure of the Baring Hall Hotel in 2011.

In response to the demolition application in 2011, Stephen Kenny and Councillor Liam Curran founded The Baring Trust.

News Shopper: The Baring Trust founders: Liam Curran and Stephen KennyThe Baring Trust founders: Liam Curran and Stephen Kenny (Image: The Baring Trust)

The trust works with the aim to protect the pub and other heritage buildings in the area.

As a result, the Baring Hall Hotel successfully received a Grade II listing status and was named an Asset of Community Value (ACV), following applications made by the trust.

The trust worked closely with campaigners and organisations in the Grove Park and Lewisham area to secure a successful High Court appeal to prevent the demolition of the pub.

The Baring Hall Hotel closed its doors in March 2020 and has not opened to the public since.

The Baring Hall Hotel is currently the only pub located in Grove Park town centre, and has also been included in planning works for the regeneration of the town centre, which includes the addition of a new park proposed by the Baring Trust.

The directors of the Baring Trust said they were “delighted” about the news of the pub’s new owner, following the many years of campaigning for its preservation.


In a statement the two directors of The Baring Trust said: “The pub has survived two world wars, the Wall Street Crash of 1929, two pandemics, two fires and 14 years of various owners trying to knock it down or develop for houses.

“And now, after years of campaigning, it has an owner that wants to run a pub.

“This is truly a glorious day.

”We are absolutely delighted that a successful pub operator, Garry Mallen, has seen the potential of the pub and decided to take it on.

“To be honest, after all this time we wondered whether this day would ever come, but now it has finally arrived, it is a wonderful feeling, and we want to pay tribute to all those in the local community who kept the faith for the past 14 years and made it happen as well as the support from many people and national organisations.”