An iconic former pub that defined the landscape of Friern Barnet for more than a century has been demolished to make way for flats.

The Turrets Pub, in Friern Barnet Road, was flattened last week as developers prepare to build a three, four and five-storey building containing 36 homes.

Chairman of the Friern Barnet and District local history society, David Bergeur, believes the area has lost a bit of its character.

He said: “It was like a fairytale castle – it was lovely. It’s such a shame that it has gone. I have seen the plans for the new flats and it is a typical office-type block.

“You would have hoped they could have retained some of the original building. It had been empty for some time and gone to rack and ruin a bit but it would have been nice to keep the façade.”

Originally built in 1856 and named The Railway Hotel, the building became The Turrets Pub with the addition of the well-known castle-like structure in 1887.

The landmark stood out at the top of Station Road to anyone arriving in Friern Barnet from the North Circular Road or on the earlier tram system in the early 1900s.

After the pub closed in 2003, the rear of the building was briefly used as a car wash and mini-cab office but in recent years the structure had fallen into severe disrepair.

Developer Excelsior was granted permission for the development in November 2010 and demolition work began earlier this month.

Mr Berguer added: “There is not much left of Friern Barnet now. We have the asylum and the town hall but many of the iconic pubs have gone and turned into supermarkets or flats.

“It is very sad and the area has certainly lost some of its character with the loss of this building.”

Will you miss The Turrets? Leave your comments below?