Famous drag queens featured on the Royal Vauxhall Tavern plan
Many of the artistes who have performed there are celebrated in the portraits that surround the map’s title, including Lily Savage who went on to host talent nights at the nearby Elephant and Castle (61). Vauxhall became South London’s main LGBTQ district by the 1990s , and many other venues and nightclubs opened up, many in converted railway arches (64).
Over the past few decades, Vauxhall’s formerly industrial landscape has undergone waves of redevelopment, and the Tavern has resisted several threats to its future. In September 2015 the campaign to protect the venue received a considerable boost when Historic England granted the building Grade II Listing in acknowledgement of its ‘historic and cultural significance as one of the best known and longstanding LGB&T venues in the capital’.
It is the first building to be listed for this reason. It has since been recognised as an Asset of Community Value, granting it further protection against change of use, and efforts continue to guarantee its long-term future. Owing in large part to soaring property prices in the capital, a quarter or more of London’s queer spaces have disappeared over the last few years. But for the moment the Royal Vauxhall Tavern continues to thrive as one of the capital's premier entertainment venues for the LGBTQ+ community.