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My Pub Crawl From Smithfield To Holborn

August 21, 2023
by the gentle author

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What could be a nicer way to spend a lazy late summer afternoon than slouching around the pubs of Smithfield, Newgate, Holborn and Bloomsbury?

The Hand & Shears, Middle St, Clothfair, Smithfield

The Hand & Shears – They claim that the term ‘On The Wagon’ originated here – this pub was used for a last drink when condemned men were brought on a wagon on their way to Newgate Prison to be hanged – if the landlord asked ,“Do you want another?” the reply was “No, I’m on the wagon” as the rule was one drink only.

The Rising Sun – reputedly the haunt of body-snatchers selling cadavers to St Bart’s Hospital

The Rising Sun and St Bartholomew, Smithfield.

The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate St– the last surviving example of a Victorian Gin Palace, it is notorious for poltergeist activity apparently.

The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate

The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate

The Viaduct Tavern, Newgate

Princess Louise, High Holborn – interior of 1891 by Arthur Chitty with tiles by W. B. Simpson & Sons and glass by R. Morris & Son

Window at the Princess Louise, Holborn

Princess Louise

Princess Louise

Cittie of Yorke, High Holborn

The Lamb, Lamb’s Conduit St, Bloomsbury – built in the seventeen-twenties and named after William Lamb who erected a water conduit in the street in 1577. Charles Dickens visited, and Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath came here.

The Lamb

The Lamb

You may also like to look at

The Gentle Author’s Pub Crawl

The Pubs of Old London

7 Responses leave one →
  1. August 21, 2023

    Presumably once you fall off the wagon there’s all the more reason to celebrate.

  2. Richard Cleaver permalink
    August 21, 2023

    Wonderful….a further few to add to my list for a future visit. I remember as a student visiting a pub in Smithfield for an early morning pint, before heading over to Stratford Poly for lectures, and sharing the place with market workers in blood stained white coats….possibly the Hand & Shears. A tradition of early opening now on the wane it seems.

  3. Greg T permalink
    August 21, 2023

    Oddly enough – the “Hand & Shears” is the only one I have not drunk in at one time or another ….

  4. James Keltz permalink
    August 21, 2023

    They look decidedly empty. Just what time was the crawl?

  5. Milo permalink
    August 21, 2023

    Oddly enough the rather spectacular looking Viaduct tavern is the only one of this bunch to have eluded me. I shall have to remedy that with all speed.

  6. Christine permalink
    August 21, 2023

    What a splendid post of gorgeous old boozers! Many memories flooded back of times we have visited all of these hostelrys. I think a re visit is on the cards x

  7. Mark in Colorado US permalink
    August 21, 2023

    Ah those first two especially…While in London just three weeks ago they were my haunts. And now for my next trip I know I will follow your crawl to the others. I also much enjoyed your City walk three weeks ago. Thank you for keeping old London alive.

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