The Magdala has closed again.

*****As of 11th February 2016, the Magdala has closed its doors again.  Please see the blog posts.*****

******As of 24th August 2015 the Magdala appears to be open for business******

[is to re-open in [January [March? [1st April 2015]]] Mid-June! ][End of July or Early August – confirmed by the new management]} Please visit the News/Blog link above for the most up-to-date news we have.

The ‘Mag’, in one form or another, has been part of Hampstead history for well over 100 years.

Its name originated from a military adventure in 1868, when the British army invaded Ethiopia (the legend goes that the inn was built on the profits acquired by a sergeant during the battle).

Its oak-panelled walls have played host to such renowned figures as Dylan Thomas, Peter Cook, Peter O’Toole, and Bob Hoskins, while, of course, being the setting for the notorious Ruth Ellis murder case.

It has over-seen, from births to funerals, the social life of generations of locals, but also has been most hospitable to its international clientele, many of whom remain determined fans.

It is a genuine London saloon bar, an increasing rarity these days, where you can find a decent welcome and lively conversation.

The regulars extend their thanks and best wishes to Christiana, Alex, and the great teams behind the bar since their arrival in 1998 till their departure in 2014.
We wish the new owners well and that the Magdala will continue to be a fine local tavern for many years to come.

As yet there are no concrete proposals, and no planning application, but those who care about its future are invited to revisit this site and read the News/Blog, where we friends of the Magdala will endeavour to keep everyone up-to-date on any new developments.  If you would like to receive an occasional email or have a specific query, please use the Contact/Register page.

14 thoughts on “The Magdala has closed again.

  1. Wonderfully run pub with great blend of the traditional (lounge bar) with the more modern (public bar). No blaring music but a real meeting place and great place to eat. Mustn’t lose it! We have to hear from the developer about his plans for keeping the place open. Current management will be a desperately hard act to follow and I fear for the future unless we receive some assurances from the developer.

  2. I too feel the current management are excellent and deserve to be retained. Food is reasonably priced and pleasant service. Upstairs room is a bonus. We can’t have a residential development without part of it allocated for local council accommodation.
    That’s the rules…

    L B Camden can advise.

  3. From the towns all Inns have been driven: from the villages most…. Change your hearts or you will lose your Inns and you will deserve to have lost them. But when you have lost your Inns drown your empty selves, for you will have lost the last of England.

    HILAIRE BELLOC, This and That

  4. Ruth Appleton – social housing unit would not be required. Social housing is usually only required for 10 units +. Financial contribution en lieu would normally be payable.

  5. My husband (John) has been a regular in the snug bar at the Magdala for years and it is being greatly missed.
    We often would have a long walk on the Heath and come in for a pint and a warm up with our little dog and two daughters and enjoy some chips and a good old chat with all the other regulars and the lovely staff; who knew us all by first name.
    John would meet the regs on a Friday and when family came up to us, we would always take them there and they all loved it.
    Friendly atmosphere and lots of fun. Such a diverse crowd of all ages were regulars there and such friendly and warm staff.
    We will all miss Rigsby (R.I.P) the dog who really was a regular with John C and really miss John C playing the piano and Rigsby literally singing along.
    Please keep the snug bar going and continue to be dog and child friendly and open up soon.
    The local regulars, including my two daughters (8 and 12) and dog (Legsy) are looking forward to coming back to the snug bar, meeting and chatting and of course, drinking and eating.
    Julie Delaney

    1. Hi Julie
      Random question – do you happen to know what type of dog Rigsby was?
      My son loved him so much and saw him every day… we are now considering getting a dog, and would love one that reminded us of Rigsby!
      Not sure if you still know John C to ask him… I havent seen him in a long while.
      Many thanks
      Sam (and Max)

  6. H E L L O F R I E N D S O F T H E M A G D A L A T A V E R N

    I N V I T A T I ON

    Please join us for pre-opening punch & snacks at the
    World Peace Garden.

    Thursday 16th July, 4-7pm.

    The Magdala Tavern is nearly ready to open, but as we creep towards completing
    the refurbishment we wanted to invite all South Hill Park, Parliament Hill,
    Tanza Road, Nassington Road residents & friends of pub to join us for a drink in the
    Peace Garden opposite the pub.

    There’ll be fruit punch (we have the upmost respect for the Peace Garden’s
    no-booze rules!), some snacks & a big hello from the team at The Magdala Tavern.
    We look forward to meeting our neighbours!

    No need to RSVP, please just pop by & we hope to meet you next week.

    Best wishes

    Jack, General Manager, The Magdala Tavern

  7. I used to live down the road and would always show off The Mag to any non locals I knew. There are only two type of pubs I hate – chav rough houses and hipster hangouts. Too many in London these days. Pls save The Mag from all that!!!

  8. I was not a Regular at The Magdala, but i was deeply saddened to discover of its Closure, when i turned right out of HH Station this afternoon. ANOTHER London Pub falls victim to Property Developer Greed. Hampstead has no real shortage of chic upmarket Housing, but now there is one less “proper boozer.” A place you could get a decent pint and something to eat in a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Even have a chat, if you were so inclined. Not really a great deal to ask of a Pub; but in this themed-world, becoming increasingly difficult to find. My occasional rambles on the Heath have lost both a Start and a Finish. I raise my Glass to Happier Times; and hope that for the Mag, these are just round the Corner- and not in the Past. IAN.

  9. It would be useful to dig into what happened. This site is estremely valuable if it can be converted into private flats. If you compare its value as a pub and as a property development, you would find that as a pub, it would need to sell thousands rather than hundreds of pints a day and fill the dining area with tables bringing in hundreds. There is simply no comparison.

    Anyone owning the site if not prepared to forgo profit, will want to get it “delicenced”. And that is what has hapenned. The seemingly good guys from the Stag pub up the road were bought in to run it and after some months, the case could be made that it could be closed and become a profit bonanza for the owner. The sort of outcry that we saw over the Duke of Hamilton, didn’t happen. If ever there was an “asset of community value” that was the Magdala. Dare one say, that its historic background as the scene of Ruth Ellis’ subsequent hanging was also of historic interest,

  10. I’ve always visited The Magdala when in London.I have relatives in the area.
    Tradgedy.When will it open again?
    Or has some grubby, greedy business got hold of it?

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