Pubs Walking Tour - Friday 27 May 2022 5.30pmRegular price £9.50
Join Open City for a walking tour exploring the fascinating architectural history of some of London's most iconic public houses
This fun and engaging walking tour — led by public historian and tour guide Sheldon K Goodman — will explore the enigmatic streets and alleys of Holborn, Farringdon and Clerkenwell which play host to a roster of legendary pubs such as The Cheshire Cheese, The Rising Sun and The Fox and Anchor.
Inspired by Open City's new book Public House: A Cultural and Social History of the London Pub, the tour will celebrate the incredible diversity, design and stories of London’s public houses as we are at last able to enjoy them again.
For centuries, the London pub has been a place of social fermentation where all manner of people have come to drink, think, share stories and company. Surviving plagues, bombs, fires and floods, they have borne witness to wakes, weddings and the writing of world-changing manifestos.
London’s pubs have provided the social and architectural infrastructure for civic life to thrive with a remarkably varied mix of spaces for meeting, making up, breaking up and cultural conviviality. From opulent former Gin Palaces and Taverns to Micropubs and community-owned pubs, the story of London’s more than 3,500 pubs tells the story of the city itself.
From the legendary Cittie of Yorke to the recently re-opened and renamed Holy Tavern, this tour will explore the importance pubs play in society and their role today amid changing social habits.
Highlights will include The Cheshire Cheese — a famous watering hole favoured by Agatha Christie and Charles Dickens — The George and Vulture which is allegedly haunted by a ghostly 'Woman in Grey' and the Viaduct Tavern where the cellars themselves hold a unique and contested story.
Tracing the development of the pub as an enduring institution through societal upheavals and ending in spectacularly beautiful pub, the tour will connect changes in pubs with wider social and political movements and recount the stories of historic breweries and long-lost beers that were once poured from the pumps of years gone by.
Providing a safe and fun way for enthusiastic urbanists to explore the city, this tour will explore the architecture and history of the London pub by focussing on some of the capital's most prominent drinking establishments which a chance to explore the surrounding streets and go inside the pubs themselves.
Meet: Outside The Blackfriar 174 Queen Victoria St, Greater, London EC4V 4EG. Ends at The Holy Tavern 55 Britton St, London EC1M 5UQ. Duration: 2 hrs approx.
Sheldon K Goodman is a public historian, tour guide, heritage professional and founder of Cemetery Club, which seeks to show cemeteries as Museums of People full of rich social history rather than as morbid, mournful spaces to be avoided.
As a heritage communicator, he runs various walking tours and events in museums and other heritage spaces, including co-developing the first queer history cemetery tour in the UK entitled ‘Queerly Departed’ for the Royal Parks with a successful sequels for Arnos Vale and Birmingham Jewellery Quarters Cemeteries Trust, as well as working with the Brunel Museum in delivering a women’s history tour, creating visual content for Schools Out UK and speaking at the National Archives and at the BBC. Sheldon is also a qualified City of Westminster guide.
He joined the Open City tours team in May 2022.