London, Part Eight: Pubs

Just in time to wet your appetite for the pubs reopening... (and remember, please drink responsibly). Anyone would think that I'd carefully planned a pub guide to be published on the day that pubs partially reopen. Complete coincidence. Maybe...

I just hope these pubs have been able to weather the financial storm of Covid.

Once again the hedonistic ride that is the ECW Travelogue ventures south to that there London. This time in search of pubs. I must point out that we do have pubs near Chateau KeepYourPowderDry, I'm looking at London pubs with a link to the Civil Wars. I have also included those pubs with 'a legend has it..' link, and those pubs that existed during the time.

To be honest you'd be hard pushed to link all ten pubs (or twelve if you include the two optional extras) together, they are probably best visited in three separate trips. Most of the pubs are close together, being in Transport for London's Zones 1 & 2, but there are also two separate outlier groups.

I would recommend visiting the first two pubs, in the Hillingdon/Uxbridge area, in one outing. Picking up the main tour at the Dove on a different trip.


Red Lion, Hillingdon was visited by King Charles I in 1646. Built in the sixteenth century the frontage is Victorian.

From here it's almost a two mile walk north into Uxbridge to... that's probably a day's hike for you city slickers, but for us country folk 'tis nothing

The Crown and Treaty, in Uxbridge is a beautiful old building dating from 1576, which during the time of the First Civil War was the home of Sir John Bennet. In January and February 1645 the building was the location for talks between the King, Parliament and the Scots Covenanters, known as The Treaty of Uxbridge.

Parliament drew up 27 articles in November 1644 and presented them to Charles I at Oxford. The articles included Presbyterianism to be established south of the border, and Parliament to take control of all military matters.

Charles had decided that the military situation was turning in his favour, after victories at Lostwithiel, Second Newbury and the relief of Donnington Castle, coupled with Montrose's victories in Scotland. (Inverlochy was fought during the conference). As a result the King was bullish and unwilling to compromise; the same could be said of the Parliamentary side, with its New Model Army beginning its ascendancy.

Here ends the Hillingdon/Uxbridge section of our list


Those of a fearless constitution will continue.

From the Crown and Treaty walk to Uxbridge Tube Station. You've got a lengthy tube journey ahead of you - Uxbridge to Ravenscourt Park: Piccadilly Line eastbound to Ealing Common (13 stops) change for District Line eastbound to Ravenscourt Park (5 stops), then a 5 minute walk to

(Sensible people will begin the pub tour here.)

The Dove, Hammersmith: Charles II is reputed to have romanced and dined his mistress Nell Gwynne here.

Then it is a trip on the tube - Ravenscourt Park to Chancery Lane: District Line eastbound to Baron's Court (2 stops), change for Piccadilly Line eastbound to Holborn (10 stops), change for Central Line eastbound (any service) to Chancery Lane (1 stop). From the station it is 5 minutes down High Holborn to

The Old Red Lion, Holborn or more properly the Red Lyon. It first opened it's doors in the sixteenth century: the current pub on the site dates back to the 1890s. So why does, what is effectively, an Edwardian boozer appear in the ECW Travelogue? In 1661 King Charles II had the bodies of Oliver Cromwell, John Bradshaw and Henry Ireton exhumed from Westminster Abbey to stage an execution of their corpses; and, legend would have it, the bodies were stored overnight in the pub's yard en route to the gallows at Tyburn.

Now you have a choice... you could add in the optional extra of The Devereux from London, Part Seven or undertake a ten minute walk direct to

Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of 1666. There has been a pub at this location since 1538. (Please don't pronounce Ye as 'ye', it's 'the': the 'Y' is a thorn, a 'letter'* that stood for 'th'. And whatever you do don't say 'oldey' either, it's just 'old'.)

From the Cheshire Cheese it is a ten minute walk to

The Viaduct on Newgate Street is a Victorian pub built upon the site of the infamous Newgate Prison. Freeborn John Lilburne was incarcerated in the prison (as were many other notable people in history) prior to being sent to the Tower of London, then to Jersey. Some of the original prison cells still exist in the pub's cellars.

Another choice here. You can add in the Hung Drawn and Quartered from London, Part Five or go direct to The George Inn. Both options involve catching the tube from St Pauls to Bank/Monument - Central Line eastbound (1 stop). HD&Q detour leave the station and walk to the pub; those going direct to the George need to change to the Northern Line Southbound to London Bridge (1 stop).

The George Inn on Borough High Street is a medieval pub whose name comes from the George and the dragon story. The George is the only surviving galleried London coaching inn. William Shakespeare is believed to have drank here, his plays were almost certainly put on in the courtyard during his lifetime. Rebuilt in 1677 after fire destroyed most of medieval Southwark.

Return to London Bridge Tube station: London Bridge to Rotherhithe; Jubilee Line eastbound to Canada Water (2 stops), change for overground northbound services to Rotherhithe (1 stop). Then it's a 5 minute walk to

The Mayflower in Rotherhithe, which dates from 1620. Originally called the Spread Eagle it was renamed after the Pilgrim Fathers' ship. The pub claims to be the oldest London riverside pub.

Here ends the central Zones 1 & 2 leg of the list


Stout individuals will continue, the sensible will stop, visiting the final two pubs separately. 

Rotherhithe overground station to Hampstead : take a southbound service to Canada Water (1 stop), change to the Jubilee Line westbound to London Bridge (2 stops), change to Northern Line (via bank) northbound to Hampstead (10 stops). From Hampstead station it's about a mile to your next stop (or you could catch the 600 bus).

Spaniards Inn, Hampstead Heath believed to have been built in 1585 on the Finchley boundary, with the tavern forming the entrance to the Bishop of London's estate

Retrace your steps to Hampstead tube. Take the Northern Line (any route) southbound to Camden Town (3 stops), change to Northern Line northbound to High Barnet (10 stops)

Ye Olde Mitre, Chipping Barnet is all that remains of three inns that were amalgamated into one in 1663 - 'The Rose', 'The Crown', and a wine tavern known as 'The Man'. Within a few years the combined name 'The Rose, The Crown and The Man' became 'The Rose The Crown and The Mitre', eventually becoming The Mitre. The Mitre has a couple of Civil War claims to fame, King Charles is alleged to have stopped here en route to Oxford, and General Monck stayed here in 1660.

* To all my fellow teachers out there, of course that should say 'grapheme', not 'letter', but apart from those of us at the chalkface and Ofsted inspectors who else will know what I'm on about?

For those of you new to the blog, and wondering where all the other parts of the ECW Travelogue London entries are, go to the drop down menu, select ECW Travelogue then click on the label 'London'. Alternatively click here.

Postcodes for SatNavs/Google maps - for travel instructions see embedded map
Red Lion, Royal Lane, Hillingdon UB8 3QP
The Crown and Treaty, 90 Oxford Rd, Uxbridge UB8 1LU

The Dove 19 Upper Mall, Hammersmith, London W6 9TA
The Old Red Lion,72 High Holborn, WC1V 6LS
Optional: The Devereux,20 Devereux Ct, Temple, WC2R 3JJ
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese 145 Fleet Street EC4A 2BU
Viaduct Tavern, Newgate Street EC1A 7AA
Optional: Hung Drawn & Quartered 26-27 Great Tower St, Tower, EC3R 5AQ
The George Inn 77 Borough High St SE1 1NH
Mayflower, 117 Rotherhithe St, Rotherhithe, SE16 4NF

Spaniards Inn, Spaniards Road NW3 7JJ
Ye Olde Mitre 58 High St, Chipping Barnet, Barnet EN5 5SJ

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  1. Interesting post and a few of them I know but the Mitre used to be my go to pub when I lived in Barnet, also full of teachers of a Friday afternoon/evening, well it was when my wife used to teach in the nearby girls secondary school!
    Best Iain

    1. Teachers in pubs? A slur on the profession. Or should that be a slurred profession? Ruminate fiercely. Five hundred words, deadline a week on Friday.

  2. Excellent - I have added the Cheshire Cheers to my list of places to amble around once the current madness has ended, I also want to visit the Grapes, so maybe a visit to the Mayflower at the same time.. and as I'm down that way, a visit to my favourite London pub the Dean Swift will certainly be on the cards!

    1. Thanks Steve.

      Somehow I always end up in the Coal Hole on The Strand. Absolutely no connection to the Civil Wars at all.

    2. The Cheshire Cheese is an excellent place to retire to. The bottom basement used to be the coolest place on hot summer days, and the added advantage of a crap mobile signal if you are dodging work! I've done most of the pubs in that area at some point, but generally gravitate to the mediaeval environs of the Blackfriars, all 20th century of course.

  3. Very cool! I've only been to the UK once (back in 2013) and stopped in a few pubs - great atmosphere and pints. The whole small town vibes fit so well with the pubs. Here in the US, I don't venture to bars or clubs - most are not so inviting.


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