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The entrance to Heaven (under the arches beneath Charing Cross Station)
Heaven Under the Arches opened at the end 1979, was London’s largest and longest running gay night club. It was situated under the arches of Charing Cross Station in the West End of London. Prior to Heaven the gay disco on the premises was called Glades [1]. It was owned by Richard Branson for many years. The site now hosts G-A-Y night club.

The premises were acquired by Derriham Limited in 1979 [2]. Decorations and initial interior designs for Heaven was done by Derek Frost. Stephen Hayter was the original Operations Director [3].

Heaven is on the site of the previous gay pub Hotel de France. In 1925, John Bull magazine exposed six notorious homosexual hang-outs including the Hotel de France.

Stonewall (UK), the UK’s most prominent LGB charity, was conceived in the bar at Heaven.

Soundshaft is a self contained venue next to Heaven, which can operate as part of the main venue or by itself. It has a dance floor and bar area, with mezzanine balcony and lounge area above.[4]

See Timeline of West End Bars and Clubs.

Vox Pop

[Vox Pop entries are personal recollections by individual contributors.]

When I came out to my mother in 1987 at the age of 19, my mother said “there are clubs for people like that, where they all have sex in the middle of the dance floor. Heaven? They should call it Hell!” I wasn’t so disappointed when I discovered this great club a couple of years later when I moved to London (I later found the clubs where people actually did have sex on the dance floor). I soon made friends with the door people, or they made friends with me, and would often let me in for free. I remember one guy saying that they would look after me – and he meant it in a very genuine way. I saw Leigh Bowery there one night, in a yellow outfit with a mask complete with beak with tassels. I would often catch the night bus home with Phillip Salon.


9 The Arches, Charing Cross, London WC2N 6NG

External links



  1. Listed in Gay News issue 127 September 1977 as Glades at the Global Village (under the Arches) with Top DJs Chris Lucas and Tony Robinson)
  2. They also owned the Embassy Club
  3. Letter Stephen Hayter to John S Barrington 20 June 1979 on Lost Gay London Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/photo?fbid=10159595104241329&set=p.10159595104241329
  4. http://www.residentadvisor.net/club-detail.aspx?id=1705