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Ye Olde Mitre Tavern, London

Posted on 28. Apr, 2010 by in Pubs

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Ye Olde Mitre, Ely Court, London

Ye Olde Mitre is a very well known, and very well hidden pub in the City of London. Situated in the small alleway of Ely Court, one entrance is from Hatton Garden, the famous jewellery street and the other from Ely Place, a dead-end street that has it’s own security guard, or beadle.

Brief History of the Pub

The Mitre is said to have been built in 1546 for the servants of the Bishop of Ely. The present building dates from 1772 and the interioris a remodelling of around 1930 with plenty of wooden panelling throughout.

The pub used to stand in the shadows of the Palace of the Bishops of Ely but that was destroyed in the late 1700s. Ely, being a town in Cambridge meant that the pub was under the jurisdiction of the town and until the 1970s, the pub’s licence was issued by magistrates in Cambridge rather than London. In fact, in a TV interview a few years ago, the landlord John Wright said that until the 1970s, City of London police weren’t allowed to enter the premises as it wasn’t within their jurisdiction. Incidentally, John Wright, 74, first visited the Mitre in 1953 and has been the landlord for over 25 years.

The Interior

The pub consists of two lounges downstairs -small room at the front and a larger room at the rear. In the middle is a small bar that serves both rooms and is also where they prepare the pub’s sandwiches and famous toasties. Spurring of the rear room is a small snug known as ‘Ye Closet’. There is also a an upstairs bar called ‘Bishops Room’ that was refitted in 1990.

Unusually for London, the gents toilets can only be accessed from outside the pub.

The pub is only open Monday-Friday which means that I don’t get to visit very often. The only time that the pub is open on a weekend is when the Great British Beer Festival takes place in August.

The Beer

The pub is operated by Fullers and was purchased within the last 12-18 months I believe. As the Mitre was well known for its guest ales, the brewery has chosen to include only a few of their beers – Discovery, London Pride and Gale’s Seafarers Ale. The two other regular beers are Adnams Broadside and Deuchars IPA. They usually sell more than two guest ales each week and have mini-festivals throughout the year. May is Mild Month and they will be selling 10 different milds throughout the month.

More Photos of Ye Olde Mitre Tavern

Venue Location

Ye Olde Mitre Tavern

1 Ely Court



Tel: 020 7405 4751

(Twitter: @awv)

Beer Taster, Pub Attendee, Photo Taker

Robert Gale likes beer, pubs and beer festivals. He also likes to take photos of beer, pubs and beer festivals. Most weekends of the year you can find him travelling around the UK (and sometimes beyond) photographing and reviewing good quality pubs and beer festivals. He also has a day job in the form of a web developer for Ozum.

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  1. Ye Olde Mitre, London | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - April 28, 2010

    […] Ye Olde Mitre, London Ye Olde Mitre is a well known pub located in the centre of London. Hidden down a small alleyway, until relatively recently the pub fell under the jurisdiction of Cambridge, a city 60 miles away. This was due to the pub being located on land that was owned by the Bishop of Ely (Cambridge). The pub is dated 1546 but the current building is from 1772. You can read a review of the pub at Travels with Beer. […]

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