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Taverns Of Long Forgotten London

January 6, 2022
by the gentle author

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White Hart Tavern, Bishopsgate

Leafing through the fat volumes of Walter Thornbury’s London Old & New is the least energetic form of pub crawl I know and yet I found I was intoxicated merely by studying these tottering old taverns, lurching at strange angles like inebriated old men sat by the wayside. Published in the eighteen-seventies, these publications looked back to London and its rural outskirts in the early nineteenth century, evoking a city encircled by coaching inns where pigs roamed loose in Edgware Rd and shepherds drove sheep to market down Highgate Hill.

Bell Tavern, Edmonton

Jack Straw’s Castle, Hampstead

Spaniards’ Hotel, Highgate

Old Crown Inn, Highgate

Gate House Tavern, Highgate

The Brill Tavern, Somers Town

The Castle Tavern, Kentish Town

Old Mother Red Cap Tavern, Camden

Queen’s Head & Artichoke, Edgware Rd

Bell Inn, Kilburn

Halfway House, Kensington

Black Lion Tavern,  Chelsea

World’s End Tavern, Chelsea

Gun Tavern, Pimlico

Rose & Crown, Kensington

Tattersall’s, Knightsbridge

Three Cranes Tavern, Upper Thames St, City of London

The Old Queen’s Head, Islington

Old Red Lion, Upon the banks of the Fleet – prior to demolition

Saracen’s Head, Snow Hill – prior to demolition

Old Tabard Tavern, Southwark – prior to demolition


White Hart Tavern, Borough

Inns of the Borough


Images courtesy Bishopsgate Institute

You may like to take a look at other engravings from London Old & New

Long Forgotten London

More Long Forgotten London

and  more pubs

Antony Cairns’ East End Pubs

Alex Pink’s East End Pubs Then & Now

The Gentle Author’s Pub Crawl

The Gentle Author’s Next Pub Crawl

The Gentle Author’s Spitalfields Pub Crawl

The Gentle Author’s Dead Pubs Crawl

The Gentle Author’s Next Dead Pubs Crawl

The Gentle Author’s Wapping Pub Crawl

The Gentle Author’s Piccadilly Pub Crawl

6 Responses leave one →
  1. Wendy permalink
    January 6, 2022

    Such interesting pictures, so full of detail. Are any of the buildings still standing?

  2. paul loften permalink
    January 6, 2022

    Thank you for sharing these old pubs l have had a drink in a few of them . In particular The Spaniards and Jack Straws Castle . I remember when Jack Straws closed as a pub and they turned it into millionaire apartments .
    When you see how they once stood in these now posh areas of London ,it makes you laugh to think of the bawdy goings on that once took place there . What does a historic pub and landmark matter when you can make millions ?

  3. Geoff P permalink
    January 7, 2022

    JOHN GILPIN was a citizen
    Of credit and renown,
    A train-band captain eke was he
    Of famous London town.

    John Gilpin’s spouse said to her dear,
    ‘Though wedded we have been
    These twice ten tedious years, yet we
    No holiday have seen.

    ‘To-morrow is our wedding-day,
    And we will then repair
    Unto the Bell at Edmonton,
    All in a chaise and pair.’

  4. January 7, 2022

    These illustrations are brilliant, thank you for finding and sharing them. I, started tracing our family history to Spitalfields and the East End – thank you for your blog it brings everything to life -superb

  5. Slingsby Slugge-Pelet permalink
    January 7, 2022

    Wendy, several of these establishments survive but bear little resemblance to the originals.

  6. Neil permalink
    January 7, 2022

    I’d make at least one exception to that, Slingsby – The Spaniard’s Inn is still pretty recognisable from that picture, complete with the still-extant toll house over the road.

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