July 28 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
One of Hampstead’s most famous watering holes will reportedly remain as a pub after being sold to a developer.
The Magdala has been bought by British Virgin Islands-based Bow Capital Ltd for £2.1million.
Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain, shot and killed her boyfriend, David Blakely, outside the pub in South Hill Park in 1955.
It is reportedly set to be closed for refurbishment.
The current landlord and staff have been told it will remain as a pub – although they are set to leave in September.
Regular Michael McClare, 60, an actor and writer from Belsize Avenue, Belsize Park, said: “It’s all in the balance at the moment. It’s been there for hundreds of years and hopefully it will stay as it is.”
A cloud of uncertainty also hangs over the nearby White Horse, in Fleet Road, which has been closed for the past month.
Bow Capital has bought the freehold to The Magdala from Punch Taverns, the firm which sold off The Old White Bear, in Well Road, Hampstead, last year.
Residents are campaigning to keep The Old White Bear as a pub and block attempts to turn it into housing.