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Edgar Wallace, London

Posted on 19. May, 2011 by in Pubs

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The Edgar Wallace, London

The Edgar Wallace is a central London real ale pub serving up to 8 different ales. It can trace its history back to 1777 and was once frequented by Dr Samuel Johnson.


The Edgar Wallace dates back to 1777 when it opened as the Essex Head (it’s located opposite Essex House). Shortly after opening it became the meeting place of Sam’s Club. The club began meeting there in 1787 and one of its members was Dr Samuel Johnson who described the club as “an assembly of good fellows, meeting under certain conditions”.

According to the book, London by Pub by Ted Bruning, the Essex Head was run by a former servant of Johnson’s great friends the Thrales, and Johnson agreed to support him by patronising his club.

The pub was renamed the Edgar Wallace in 1975 to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the prolific crime writer. The Edgar Wallace society holds meetings at the pub including its annual lunch.


The interior consists of a large open plan room with a large bar along the one side. The hundreds of pump clips around the bar are a good indication of the number of guest beers sells. The rest of the room is decorated with some fascinating memorabilia from old breweries along with dozens of old cigarette advertisements.

There is an additonal room upstairs that is used as a function room and possibly for lunchtime meals.

The Beer

There are always 8 ales available at the Edgar from breweries around the UK one of which is brewed especially for the pub by the Nethergate Brewery (Edgar Pale Ale). When I visited in April, 2011, the beers available were from Dark Star, Orkney, Timothy Taylor, Goddards, Whitstable and Crouch Vale.

Visiting the Pub

The pub is located just off the junction of the Strand and Fleet Street on Essex Street. Being a City pub, it is only open Monday to Friday. Like other pubs in the area, it opens early for breakfast.

More Photos of the Edgar Wallace

Venue Location

Edgar Wallace

40 Essex Street



Tel: 020 7353 3120

(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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