Secret vault found underneath former London venue Astoria

Archaeologists have unearthed a 19th century vault under the venue, which closed in 2009

A hidden vault has been discovered underneath former London venue the Astoria, which closed in 2009.

The building, which was demolished as part of Crossrail development plans for The Elizabeth Line, has been discovered to have sat above one of Britain’s first condiment suppliers, as reports IanVisits.

In the 19th and 20th century, the Crosse & Blackwell company owned a warehouse on Charing Cross Road. MOLA archaeologists, who inspected the area after Astoria’s demolishment, discovered an array of pickle pots, ketchups (known at the time as “catsup”), preserved spices and jam jars.

Astoria opened in 1927 as a cinema, before being converted for theatrical use in 1977. After reopening as a nightclub in 1985, it hosted legendary performances from Radiohead, The Smashing Pumpkins and The Cranberries, as well as the G-A-Y club night. It was also the host of Richey Edwards’ last ever performance with Manic Street Preachers.

In 2009, the space was purchased from Festival Republic by the Crossrail development, despite online protests and a petition with 35,000 signatures. London Mayor at the time, Ken Livingstone, said nothing could have been done to prevent closure. “The construction of Crossrail means that the Astoria can’t be saved,” he said.

Its final night took place on January 16, with performances from Cajun Dance Party and Good Shoes, plus a DJ set from Lightspeed Champion aka Dev Hynes.