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The Knights Templar Pub Set to Shut

The Knights Templar – the popular JD Wetherspoons pub opposite the Maughan Library – is set to shut at the end of March.

The well-known student haunt, commonly referred to as KT, is set to shut 28 March, according to a member of staff spoken to by Roar. The Law Gazette had originally reported that the pub would be closing March 17, but the staff member, who has asked not to be named, said that the date of closure had been pushed back.

They said that many were “heartbroken” to learn of the news, adding: “We’ve had regulars who’ve been coming here since they were eighteen, now they’re in their forties.” However, they revealed that a number of prospective new leaseholders had already visited the site and that it was likely that the venue would remain as a pub.

The venue has long been a fixture in the KCL social scene, with many societies favouring it for its low prices and unexpectedly grand interior (more specifically, the unexpectedly grand toilets). Roar news spoke to a number of students who have been left reeling by the news.

Dan Pearson, a second year Music student, told Roar: “”KT has always felt like the natural venue for all of the big moments of my life. I was going to have my wedding in there, watch my kids grow old enough to hold a pint with their tiny, pathetic, weak hands, and watch England beat Wales. It’s a real blow to the lifeline of the kings community and it will be missed.”

Another student, Marc Lallemand, expressed disbelief at the closure, asking: “How is that possible?! They’re the coolest and most profitable spoons in the country. People voluntarily pile themselves on top of each other there.”

In November, it was reported that JD Wetherspoon were set to shut 39 pubs amid rising costs and a slow recovery from the Covid pandemic. Staff members are set to be transferred to the Penderel’s Oak Wetherspoons in Holborn. The original plan had been for Knights Templar to remain open, and Penderel’s Oak to shut. However, the lease on the latter was not up for a number of years, while Knights Templar’s contract was ending imminently. The decision was taken not to renew the lease.

The venue, formerly the Union Bank- (which later became part of Natwest), was being converted into a pub in 1999. It is named after the order of knights who owned the land upon which the first properties on Chancery Lane were built.

Roar has asked members of the King’s community to share their words of remembrance of KT with us – this page will be updated with them continuously. If you would like us to publish your own statement DM us @roar.news on Instagram.

Jazz Society:

“Many relationships, both platonic and romantic, have blossomed at KT. No other Wetherspoons has that unique, obtrusive orange high-columned ceiling, and their toilets were the Chamber of Secrets of toilets. This is a huge blow to the Jazz Soc community. I’m worried we’ll now be subjected to the likes of the Vault for a post-rehearsal pint.”

Katerina Pimtein:

“Celebrated my graduation there just this last July with my coursemates. Many a pint was downed after countless hours at the Maughan. We thank you for your service, KT.”

King’s Beer Society:

“Was the first stop of Beer Society’s pub crawl last term 🙁 will be missed.”

Raghav Bansal:

“First breakfast after lockdown when pubs opened up for meals and regular pints after that :(“

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