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Posted: 29th February 2024

Independent family brewer and pub company Shepherd Neame celebrated the official reopening of its historic pub, The Crown, in the heart of Blackheath Village, last night (Wednesday, February 28), with a nod to the area’s spectacular sporting links.

The former 16th century coaching inn, which has undergone a £750,000 transformation, is a short distance from the oldest open rugby club in the world, Blackheath Rugby Club, and so fittingly former England full-back, Tim Stimpson, was able to join the fray and pull the first pint.

The five-week refurbishment has seen the pub’s traditional heritage celebrated throughout alongside a fresh, modern take on Edwardian décor, using a rich palette of dark blues, browns and vintage-inspired floral wallpapers.

Welcoming drinkers in, as well as surveying the refurbished outside seating area at the front of the pub, is a new traditional swing sign of a crown, the inspiration for which came from vintage signs inside Shepherd Neame’s Old Brewery Store at its Faversham brewery.

In keeping with the area’s sporting heritage, Tim, who received 19 England caps and one Lions cap in his playing career, pulled the first pint, assisted by Shepherd Neame Chief Executive Jonathan Neame, before receiving a £1,000 donation for the Sporting Partnerships Foundation Fund, an organisation he founded.

Jonathan Neame also presented the Chair of the Blackheath Society, Paul Watts, with a donation of £1,000 towards the society’s work to preserve and improve Blackheath.

Addressing a packed pub for the official reopening last night (Wednesday, February 28), Jonathan Neame said: “There’s so much rich history here at The Crown, and in Blackheath itself. We are delighted to have been able to contribute to this vibrant community by investing in the transformation of this unique pub in the very heart of Blackheath Village – one of the few real villages left in London. 

“Despite being so close to the capital, it still retains that community feel and we hope this stunning renovation we have carried out will prove popular with locals and visitors.”

Tim said: “Shepherd Neame has a long association with sport, supporting it from grassroots to a national level, so I was delighted to be invited to help the team celebrate the reopening of this stunning pub. Their generous donation to the Sporting Partnerships Foundation Fund will help enable us to continue our support of children, education and sports projects and charities.”

The Crown has been fully redecorated inside, while retaining its original features, and now has a classic but contemporary feel with fireplaces, leather benches and Edwardian tiling.

The first floor dining room - crowned the King Charles III Dining Room through a competition won by Crown regular Lee Tester – has been given a new, renovated lease of life while there is now a piano in the side bar area for weekly sing-a-longs – with customer performances encouraged!

Outside, the building has had a refresh, with standout gold lettering, plus a mural of an off-duty royal sentry by James Titcher of Aero Arts Graffiti.

As an authentic home to real ale, the pub’s team, led by new General Manager Jan Mullerson, will serve a wide selection of award-winning craft ales on draught, in glass and pewter tankards, and one of Shepherd Neame’s Classic Collection draught keg beers, Bishops Finger.

A new menu of homemade traditional bar snacks and pub classics with a contemporary twist has been introduced, using the finest locally sourced produce. 

You can find it at 49 Tranquil Vale, Blackheath, SE3 0BS, call 020 8852 0326, visit or follow @crownblackheath