Ye Olde London Pubs

Ye Olde London Pubs

In Britain we have been drinking ale since the Bronze Age, but it wasn't until the arrival of the Romans, in the 1st Century, that Inns started to appear. They were common along Roman roads and provided lodgings for officials and other travellers and where known as taberna, from which the word tavern is derived. After the Romans left, in the 5th Century, the Anglo-Saxons established alehouses in domestic dwellings, with the wives displaying a green bush on a pole to indicate the brew was ready. The alehouses quickly evolved into meeting houses for people and became more like the public houses we have today.

Today's walk was a wander around London visiting just some of the oldest pubs we have here. Of course this isn't a definitive list, and there are plenty of historic pubs outside of Central London, such as The Grapes (Limehouse), The Prospect of Whitby (Wapping), The Spaniard’s Inn, (Hampstead) and The Trafalgar Tavern (Greenwich).

Distance: around 12 miles.

Ten Bells, E1
The Ten Bells is notable for its association with two victims of Jack the Ripper; Annie Chapman and Mary Kelly, and has existed in one guise or another since the middle of the 17th Century. 

Hoop & Grapes, EC3N
The Hoop and Grapes is Grade II* listed and English Heritage note that it was probably built in the late 17th century, and that it is "a type of building once common in London but now very rare." 

The George Inn, SE1
The George Inn was established in the medieval period and is currently owned and leased by the National Trust. It is the only surviving galleried London coaching inn and has links with Charles Dickens, and is referred to in Little Dorrit.

The Anchor, SE1
A tavern establishment, under various names, has been on the site of The Anchorfor over 800 years and behind the pub are buildings which were once operated by the Anchor Brewery. 

The Olde Wine Shades, EC4R
The Olde Wine Shades is one of London's oldest pubs, having been built in 1663 and survived the Great Fire. 

The Bell, EC4R
The Bell is said to be the oldest small pub in the City and has been trading since before the Great Fire, a roll of honour on one of the walls records the name of every landlord since 1673.

George & Vulture, EC3V
The George and Vulture was built in 1748 but there has been an inn on the site since 1268. It was the reputed meeting place of the Hell-Fire Club and is mentioned, at least 20 times, in Charles Dickens's Pickwick Papers, and has been the headquarters of the City Pickwick Club since its foundation.

Jamaica Wine House, EC3V
The Jamaica Wine House, known locally as "the Jampot", was the first coffee house in London and was visited by Samuel Pepys in 1660 - it is now a Grade II listed pub. 

Ye Olde Watling, EC4M
Ye Olde Watling is said to be built from old ships's timbers by Sir Christopher Wren and dates back to 1668. The upstairs rooms were used as a drawing office during the building of St. Paul's Cathedral.

The Viaduct Tavern, EC1A
The Viaduct Tavern was built in 1874-75 and the interior was remodelled by Arthur Dixon in 1898-1900. It is Grade II listed and on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

Ye Olde Mitre, EC1N
The Ye Olde Mitre was built in 1546 for the servants of the Bishop of Ely and is rumoured to have hosted Elizabeth I, who supposedly danced around the cherry tree with Sir Christopher Hatton.

Hoop & Grapes, EC4A
The Hoop and Grapes dates from 1721 and is a Grade II listed building. The pub was the location for secret ‘Fleet’ weddings during the 18th century. Originally opposite the Fleet prison, through a legal loophole secret weddings could be carried out away from the homes of the participants and without bands.

The Black Friar, EC4V
The Black Friar was built in about 1875 and remodelled in about 1905 by architect Herbert Fuller-Clark, with much of the internal decoration by sculptor Henry Poole. It is Grade II listed and on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

The Old Bell, EC4Y
The Old Bell, or The Bell Tavern was built by Sir Christopher Wren in the 1670s for builders working on the nearby Church of St Bride's.

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, EC4A
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was rebuilt after the Great Fire but there has been a pub at the location since 1538. It is Grade II listed and on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.

Ye Olde Cock Tavern, EC4Y
Ye Olde Cock Tavern originally dates back to 1549 and is well known for the pub with the narrowest frontage of any London pub. Originally on the north side of Fleet Street, it has been on its existing site since 1887.

The Old Bank of England, EC4A
The Old Bank of England is the former Law Courts’ branch of The Bank of England who traded there from 1888 until 1975 when the premises was sold to a building society. It was refurbished and restored in 1994 and became a pub.

The Seven Stars, WC2A
The Seven Stars is Grade II listed and although the frontage bears the date 1602 it is believed the building itself dates from the 1680s.

Citte of Yorke, WC1V
The Cittie of Yorke is Grade II listed and on CAMRA's National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. The current building is from the 1920s but there have been pubs on the site since 1430. 

The Lamb, WC1N
The Lamb, Grade II listed, was built in the 1720s and was named after William Lamb, who had erected a water conduit along the street, also named after him, in 1577. 

The White Hart, WC2B
Records show a licensed premises has been on the site of The White Hart since 1216, with the name 'The Whyte Hart' being the name of the pubs since the 15th century. 

The Lamb & Flag, WC2E
The first mention of a pub on the site of The Lamb & Flag is in 1772, then known as The Coopers Arms it changed to The Lamb & Flag in 1833. The building's brickwork is from around 1958 and conceals what may be an early 18th century frame of a house, replacing the original one built in 1638. 

The Guinea, W1J
There has been an inn on the site of The Guinea since 1423 and at that time the area would have been open fields and farm land as London didn't extend beyond Westminster.

The Star Tavern, SW1X
The Star Tavern won infamy during the fifties and sixties as the hangout for London’s inner circle of master criminals, most notably being the place where most of the planning was done for the Great Train Robbery.

The Red Lion, SW1A  The Red Lion stands on the site of a medieval tavern – known in 1434 as the Hopping Hall. The tavern passed through various hands and traded under many names in its early years, before it was bought by the Crown in 1531.

The Red Lion, SW1A
The Red Lion stands on the site of a medieval tavern – known in 1434 as the Hopping Hall. The tavern passed through various hands and traded under many names in its early years, before it was bought by the Crown in 1531.

Dosa? Don't Mind If I Do Sir!

Dosa? Don't Mind If I Do Sir!

London Wall

London Wall