Why write a blog about London’s most historic pubs? Well, visitors to London love our ancient attractions such as The Tower of London, St Paul’s, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace.
Each of these has a tale to tell about London’s history since it was in our palaces, churches, forts and prisons where the big stuff happened. Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s were the sites of many a royal wedding and you can almost feel the anguish at the Tower of London where people were tortured, executed or hidden away and forgotten.
But what about the small stuff? Where did common folk go to forget their troubles, forge friendships, meet cohorts, hatch plots or have a laugh with their mates?
On every London street corner, hidden down every side street and tucked away in every Diagon-style alley you will find an iconic pub where time has stood still. Peer through the leaded light windows and you will see a low-lit room with cosy nooks and where every vertical surface is covered with period paintings, memorabilia, horse brasses and wall lamps wearing little hats.
These are our historical monuments hidden in plain sight. Who knows what allegiances were formed at their carved oak bars; what whispered conversations took place in their shadowy corners and what lovers’ trysts were held in their upper bedchambers?
Sometimes a pub’s history will be diffidently displayed on a discreet notice board outside or written up on the back of a lunch menu. But often it is overlooked altogether. Which is why I have decided to winkle out the stories behind London’s most historic pubs.
So after an excellent day out at one of our guidebook-listed attractions, head for the pub. Every inn listed in my blog has been tried and tested (by me) and hand-picked for being either delightfully cosy or a place where history happened – and in many cases, both. A visit to one of these hostelries will leave you feeling that you have discovered your own secret corner of our city.
And you will have been to the pub. What’s not to like?