So here is a historical pub crawl full of historical pubs. It’s 6 pubs in total, but you can stop at 5 if you are into Ye Old Cheshire Cheese. It’s a really cool pub. The MAP
1) COAL HOLE – 91-92 Strand, London WC2R 0DW
To start off early I recommend the Coal Hole on the Strand.
On Saturdays it opens at 10am so it’s an ideal place to start. Also it will get crowded fast due to tourists, so if you get there early, you can check out the historical building.
11-12:30. The Coal Hole – Rumour has it, The Cole Hole occupies what was once the coal cellar for the Savoy Hotel!
In the Victorian era, The pub was a well-known ‘song and supper’ club where regulars were encouraged to sing comical songs
and sentimental ballads. Gilbert and Sullivan regularly performed here in Edwardian times, and the Shakespearean actor Edmund Keane started the Wolf Club here for oppressed husbands forbidden to sing in the bath!
10:00am – Midnight – Registered Heritage pub – Real Ale – Cask Marque Accredited
The Coal Hole – 10 minutes- (0.5 miles)
Walk north-east on Carting Ln towards Strand/A4 (Parts of this road may be closed at certain times or on certain days)
The Old Bank of England – 194 Fleet St, London EC4A 2LT
2) The OLD BANK OF ENGLAND -194 Fleet St, London EC4A 2LT
Next we take a little walk to the Old Bank Of England. This pub used to be closed on the weekends, but is not open and I’m excited about this. Such a beautiful interior.
12:40 – 2:00. Old Bank of England – It was constructed on a corner site in 1886 by Sir Arthur Blomfield in a grand Italianate style, the interior having three large chandeliers with a detailed plaster ceiling. It is a Grade II listed building.
The Bank of England occupied the building from 1888 to 1975 before it was refurbished and put to its current use in 1994. The vaults beneath the pub once contained gold bullion, and are said to have held the Crown Jewels for a period as well. The pub is close to where the fictional Sweeney Todd is said to have plied his trade.
There is a beer garden at the back. https://www.oldbankofengland.co.uk
Real Ale Pub – noon to 9pm – Fuller’s pub.
The Old Bank of England – 8 min (0.4 miles)
Walk east on Fleet St/Strand/A4 – 26 ft
Slight left to stay on Fleet St/Strand/A4 – 72 ft
Turn left onto Chancery Ln/B400 – 0.3 mi
Turn right onto High Holborn/A40 – 249 ft
Turn left – 39 ft
Cittie of Yorke – 22 High Holborn, London WC1V 6BN
3) Cittie of Yorke – 22 High Holborn, London WC1V 6BN
2:15 – 3:45 Another historic pub is the Cittie of Yorke. Head north and you’ll find this little gem of a place.
The Cittie of Yorke is a grade II listed public house on London’s High Holborn, and is listed in CAMRA’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors. The pub is owned and operated by Samuel Smith’s Old Brewery.There are three different bars here and the ones in the back are worth a look – a grand hall with benches separated by wooden screens. This pub is also a Grade-II listed building, making it a worthwhile stop for historians as well as those looking for a tipple!
Although the current building is a rebuilding of the 1920s, although the current building is newer it still dates from the 1640’s!
The buildings on this site have been pubs since 1430. Some features include the Henekey’s long bar located in the grand, hall-like back room, a late-Georgian or Regency era triangular metal stove, and Victorian-style cubicles.
Samual Smiths Pub
Cittie of Yorke – 8 min (0.4 mile) via Chancery Ln/B400
Walk south towards High Holborn/A40 – 66 ft
Turn left onto High Holborn/A40 – Continue to follow A40 – 0.2 mi
Turn right onto Fetter Ln – 0.1 mi
Turn right onto New Fetter Ln/A4 – Continue to follow A4 – 0.1 mi
Turn right onto Fleet St/A4 – 138 ft
Slight left to stay on Fleet St/A4 – Destination will be on the left – 141 ft
Ye Olde Cock Tavern – 22 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4Y 1AA
4) YE OLD COCK TAVERN – 22 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4Y 1AA
4:00 – 5:30 Ye Olde Cock Tavern originally dates back to 1549 and is well known for the pub with the narrowest frontage of any London pub. it was rebuilt after a fire broke out and destroyed many of the original ornaments (which is thought to include work by carver Grinling Gibbons). The building has since gone through a restoration using old photographs. It’s said that still surviving from the fire today is a James I fireplace and Grinling Gibbons mantlepiece. It is opposite Temple Church which was made famous in Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code”.
It has been frequented by Samuel Pepys, Alfred Tennyson and Charles Dickens.
Taylor Walker Pub – Public House – Cask Marque Accredited – Real Ale – Gin Lounge upstairs with shuffleboard tables.
Ye Olde Cock Tavern – 22 Fleet St, Holborn, London EC4Y 1AA – 3 min (0.2 mile) via Fleet St.
Walk east on Fleet St/A4 towards Falcon Ct – Continue to follow Fleet St
Destination will be on the left 0.2 mi
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – 145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU
5) YE OLD CHESHIRE CHEESE – 145 Fleet St, London EC4A 2BU
5:30 – 7:00 Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a Grade II listed public house. It’s one of the oldest pubs in the city. Rebuilt shortly after the Great Fire of 1666, the pub is known for its literary associations, with its regular patrons having included Charles Dickens, G.K. Chesterton and Mark Twain. (The literary figures Oliver Goldsmith, Mark Twain, Alfred Tennyson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, P. G. Wodehouse and Dr. Samuel Johnson are all said to have been ‘regulars’. However, there is no recorded evidence that Dr Johnson ever visited the pub, only that he lived close by, at 17 Gough Square.)
There has been a pub at this location since 1538. While there are several older pubs which have survived because they were beyond the reach of the fire, or like The Tipperary on the opposite side of Fleet Street because they were made of stone, this pub continues to attract interest due to the curious lack of natural lighting inside which generates its own gloomy charm. This is due to the labyrinth of seemingly random rooms connected by random passageways.
Some of the interior wood panelling is nineteenth century, some older, perhaps original. The vaulted cellars are thought to belong to a 13th-century Carmelite monastery which once occupied the site. The entrance to this pub is situated in a narrow alleyway and is very unassuming, yet once inside visitors will realise that the pub occupies a lot of floor space and has numerous bars and gloomy rooms. In winter, open fireplaces are used to keep the interior warm. In the bar room are posted plaques showing famous people who were regulars.
n 1962, the pub gave the Museum of London a number of sexually explicit erotic plaster of Paris tiles recovered from an upper room. These tiles strongly suggest that the room was used as a brothel in the mid-eighteenth century.
The pub is on the Campaign for Real Ale’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.
Samual Smiths Pub
Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese – 6 min (0.3 mile) via Fleet St and New Bridge St/A201
Turn right onto Ludgate Circus/New Bridge St/A201
Continue to follow New Bridge St/A201- 0.2 mi
The Blackfriar – 174 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4EG
6) THE BLACKFRIAR – 174 Queen Victoria St, London EC4V 4EG
8:30 – til whenever…. (last one if you want to go, but is added as extra if we move quicker through pubs. We might just want to stay at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese to end crawl.) This is a cool pub. Just sayin’.
The Black Friar is a Grade II* listed public house. Set in a historic, Art Nouveau Grade II masterpiece of a building, The Blackfriar was built in 1875 on the site of a medieval Dominican friary. It was remodelled in 1905. The building was designed by architect H. Fuller-Clark and artist Henry Poole, who were both committed to the free-thinking arts and crafts movement.
Today, you’ll still find Poole’s original jolly friars around the pub, in the form of sculptures, mosaics, and reliefs. You might say we’re lucky to still be here after being saved from demolition by a campaign led by Sir John Betjeman!
It is on the Campaign for Real Ale’s National Inventory of Historic Pub Interiors.
Nicholson’s Pub – Cask Ale Pub