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The Old Bell, Fleet Street, London

Posted on 18. May, 2010 by in Pubs

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The Old Bell Tavern, London

The Old Bell is a 17th century pub located at the eastern end of Fleet Street, near Ludgate Circus.

Brief History and Interior

The Old Bell was reputedly built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1670 as a hostel for workers rebuilding St Bride’s Church after the Great Fire of London. St Bride’s Church is located next door and is thought to have been the inspiration for the traditionally tiered wedding cake.

Prior to the Old Bell, the pub was known as the Twelve Bells, the Golden Ball or Bell and when it was known as the Sun in 1500, Wynkyn de Worde, former assistant to England’s first printer William Caxton, installed a printing press there. Books printed there were ’emprynted at the sygne of the Sun Flete Strete’.

At the Fleet Street entrance is a small flagstoned area which, according to the menu at the pub, was an off license that was completely separate to the pub. Back then, the pub would have been accessed from the St Brides Avenue entrance at the rear.

Up a few steps is a larger room with a u-shaped bar that’s partitioned in the centre. I’m not sure if the partition would have extended further across the room. Around the bar is a variety of seating including comfy seating against the wall and some odd triangular stools. At either end of the room is a roaring fire.

The Beer

The pub is operated by Nicholsons so has got a good selection of ales with Deuchars IPA and Timothy Taylor being regulars. Guests when I visited were Sharps Doom Bar and Thornbridge Jaipur IPA.

Other Pubs in the Area

If you are looking to visit the Old Bell, bear in mind that being a city pub, it is only open Monday – Friday. And if you do visit there are no shortage of pubs in the area including Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese, the Black Friar, the Crown and Sugarloaf, the Punch Tavern and the Tipperary.

More Photos of the Old Bell

Venue Location

The Old Bell Tavern

95 Fleet Street

London

EC4Y 1DH

Tel: 020 7583 0216

www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/theoldbelltavernfleetstreetlondon/

(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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4 Responses to “The Old Bell, Fleet Street, London”

  1. dom 21 June 2010 at 11:18 am #

    Great to see this pub featured – I spent every lunchtime in there when I lived off Fleet Street.
    Good to meet you at the Great Welsh Beer and Cider Festival

  2. travelswithbeer 21 June 2010 at 12:40 pm #

    The time I took the shots of the pub was the firt time that I had visited. Great pub and much preferred it to the Punch Tavern.


Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Old Bell, Fleet Street, London | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - May 18, 2010

    […] The Old Bell, Fleet Street, London The Old Bell is an historic pub located on Fleet Street, London. It was built by Sir Christopher Wren in 1670 and prior to that, Wynkyn de Worde, former assistant to England’s first printer William Caxton, installed a printing press in the same building as a pub located on the site in 1500. The pub was built has a hostel for workers rebuilding St Brides Church which is located to the rear of the pub. The church is thought to have been the inspiration for the traditionally tiered wedding cake. You can read a review of the pub at Travels with Beer. […]

  2. Ye Olde Bell Tavern, London | Beer Lens | Photos of beer, pubs and breweries from around the world - April 17, 2012

    […] Ye Olde Bell Tavern, London This decorative stained glass window is on the Fleet Street side of Ye Olde Bell Tavern in London. The pub was built in 1670 after being destroyed by the Great Fire in 1666. Prior to the fire, a pub was on the site since 1500 when it was known as the Sun. You can read more about the pub and view the interior on Travels with Beer. […]

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