The History of the Pubs
The arrival of the Romans and the establishment of a sound road network in the U.K. contributed to an increase in travel, and a demand for the establishment of simple ale houses where a traveler could stop and find shelter whilst quenching their thirst.The pub as we know it has its origins in the abbey breweries and monasteries, which emerged shortly after the Norman conquest of Britain in 1066. The Normans, upon conquering Britain set about building a huge network of places of worship throughout the land. Not long afterwards, many monasteries and abbeys began to brew their own beer, for sale to pilgrims. This led to the later development of ale houses, where travellers and locals could sit in for a drink or two. Temporary living accommodation was often sought by the travellers close to the ale houses, which led to the development of inns. Inns have, in turn, by and large developed again into simple drinking houses (though rarely attached to an abbey or monastery) called 'public houses' or 'Pubs' for short, often themed for novelty value, and central to entertainment and community life.
Some Interesting Pubs:
The George Inn
The George Inn, just off Borough High Street, survived the Great Fire of London, 1666 (as it was just south of the River Thames), only to be burnt to the ground in a large scale, lesser-known fire, just one year later. It was rebuilt, and continued to serve pilgrims and tradesmen on this bus route from Northern to Southern England. The architecture is still pure 17th Century, and in the courtyard you can almost touch the atmosphere, where travellers used to drink olde-English ale, their horses and carts tied up alongside them.
The Interior of the George Inn
For more gruesome drinks,The Ten Bellsin Spitalfields, is known to have been frequented by at least one of Jack the Rippers victims, whilst up the road in 'The Blind Beggar' the Krays carried out their most famous murder.
The Ten Bells in Spitafields. In the 1800's, the time of Jack The Ripper.
The Interior of Ten Bells
If you have a passion for the arts try 'The French House' in Soho, London where gangsters, sex workers and artists such as Francis Bacon rubbed shoulders in the 1950's and '60's.
Theory has it that pubs attract ghosts of the dead, for much the same reason that they attract many of the living; they go there to find a shoulder to cry on! So next time you are in a pub and feel a ghostly chill, don't fear, just lend an ear!
The Mermaid Inn in Rye, East Sussex is said to be the most haunted pub in England, with a history of duelling ghouls in the main bar, and several other sceptres that haunt the inn bedrooms. The inn serves excellent food, and has a genuine fire in the bar.
Pub hauntings are synonymous with old pubs. Perhaps try a ghost-pub crawl
with the London Walks people around your local area for a change: chase off your beer tasting evening with a different kind of spirit! Ha ha! London Walks has a different pub walk practically every night, I strongly recommend them.
Some Interesting Pub Sites
More Tales and Adventures in Sabrina's London Diaries