Boar's Head Inn, London

Boar's Head Inn, London

The Boar's Head Inn, located on Eastcheap, is a prominent feature in Shakespeare's historical plays, notably "Henry IV, Part 1", where it serves as a favorite gathering spot for the fictional character Falstaff and his companions during the early 15th century. Although there is no historical evidence of the Boar's Head inn's existence during the play's era, Shakespeare was alluding to a real inn that was present in his own time. This establishment, in existence before 1537, met its demise during the Great Fire of London in 1666, but was swiftly rebuilt and operated until the late 18th century when it transitioned into retail use. The remnants of the building were eventually demolished in 1831, but the iconic boar's head sign was preserved and is now on display at the Shakespeare's Globe theatre.

The original inn's location now forms part of the approach to London Bridge on Cannon Street. In close proximity to the site, along modern-day Eastcheap, architect Robert Lewis Roumieu crafted a neo-Gothic structure in 1868. Having once served as a vinegar warehouse and currently housing office spaces, this building pays homage to the Boar's Head Inn through its design and external embellishments, which include a boar's head emerging from grass and portrait heads of Henry IV and Henry V. Architectural scholar Nicholas Pevsner once characterized it as "one of the maddest displays of gabled Gothic brick in London", while British architecture critic Ian Nairn likened it to "the scream you wake on at the end of a nightmare".

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Boar's Head Inn on Map

Sight Name: Boar's Head Inn
Sight Location: London, England (See walking tours in London)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in London, England

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