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Champion the Wonder Pub

13-June-2011
13-June-2011 0:00
in Photography
by Peter Berthoud

The Champion, that fine Sam Smith's pub on Wells Street, is well known for it's excellent stained glass.

This little pub, near the eastern end of Oxford Street is a multi-coloured gem. It's the next best thing to having a pint of Alpine in a cathedral.

The Champion pub Fitzrovia interior

The Grade II listed pub dates from c.1860-1870 but the Victorian and Edwardian heroes and heroines are actually a quite recent addition. They were commissioned from stained glass artist Ann Sotheran and were completed in 1989, over a century after the pub first opened. 

I couldn't find a full set of photos anywhere on the internet. So to remedy that, here are images and the accompanying text for all the major panels.

DAVID LIVINGSTONE
Originally sent to Africa as a missionary, he explored and mapped vast areas of the continent.
1813-1873

David Livingstone stained glass at The Champion pub

David Livingstone originally sent to Africa as a missionary, he explored and mapped vast areas of the continent

CAPT. MATTHEW WEBB
Was the first to swim the English Channel (30 miles in 21 hours) he died swimming across Niagara Falls.
1848-1883

Matthew Webb stained glass at The Champion Pub

Matthew Webb was the first to swim the English Channel (30 miles in 21 hours) he died swimming across Niagara Falls

EDWARD WHYMPER
Became a traveller and mountaineer first man to climb the Matterhorn and Chimborazo in the Andes
1840-1911

Edward Whymper stained glass at The Champion Pub

Edward Whymper became a traveller and mountaineer first man to climb the Matterhorn and Chimborazo in the Andes

THE CHAMPION

The Champion Pub

VRI
[Victoria Regina Imperatrix]
1837-1901

Queen Victoria's Reign stained glass at The Champion Pub

EARL OF MAYO
Richard Bourke an ideal Viceroy and one of the best loved of the rulers of British India
1823-1872

Early of Mayo RIchard Bourke stained glass at the Champion pub

Earl of Mayo Richard Bourke an ideal Viceroy and one of the best loved of the rulers of British India

W.G. GRACE
A legendary figure whose all round ability and enthusiasm dominated cricket for over thirty years
1848-1915

WG Grace stained glass at the Champion pub

WG Grace a legendary figure whose all round ability and enthusiasm dominated cricket for over thirty years

FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE
Gained professional status for nurses and raised hospital standards, especially in the Crimea
1820-1910

Florence Nightingale stained glass at the Champion pub

Florence Nightingale gained professional status for nurses and raised hospital standards, especially in the Crimea

BOB FITZSIMMONS
“Ruby Robert” is the only Englishman to win three world titles at different weights
1862-1917

Bob Fitzsimmons stained glass at the Champion pub

Bob Fitzsimmons “Ruby Robert” is the only Englishman to win three world titles at different weights 1862-1917

YOUNG TOM MORRIS
Won four consecutive Open Championships, the first at the age of 17
1851-1875

Young Tom Morris stained glass at the Champion pub

Young Tom Morris won four consecutive Open Championships, the first at the age of 17

CAPT BERTIE DWYER
“Flying” Bertie Dwyer was one of the early Cresta riders, a President of the St Moritz Tobogganing Club and winner of several trophies
1872-1967

Capt Bertie Dwyer stained glass at the Champion pub

Capt Bertie Dwyer “Flying” Bertie Dwyer was one of the early Cresta riders, a President of the St Moritz Tobogganing Club and winner of several trophies

FRED ARCHER
Possibly the greatest jockey ever, being Champion jockey for thirteen consecutive years, with twenty-one Classic victories
1857-1886

Fred Archer stained glass at the Champion pub

Fred Archer possibly the greatest jockey ever, being Champion jockey for thirteen consecutive years, with twenty-one Classic victories

WILLIAM M. RENSHAW
Winner of seven singles and seven doubles cups, he with his brother, made Lawn Tennis into a sport
1861-1904

William Renshaw stained glass at the Champion pub

William Renshaw winner of seven singles and seven doubles cups, he with his brother, made Lawn Tennis into a sport

The Champion pub
12-13 Wells Street
London W1T 3PA

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