Welcome!

Ye Olde Cock Tavern originally dates back to 1549 and is well known for the pub with the narrowest frontage of any London pub. It is opposite Temple Church which was made famous in Dan Brown’s book “The Da Vinci Code”.

It was originally on the North side of Fleet Street, but has been on its existing site since 1887 and was the preferred watering hole of famous historic figures such as Samuel Pepys, Charles Dickins and Doctor Johnson. The pub closed briefly in 1665 because of The Great Plague but reopened in 1668 as Ye Olde Cock Tavern and has traded as an 'ale house' ever since.

The pub's first famous resident was the diarist Samuel Pepys (1663-1703) who mentioned in one of his works how he arrived at Ye Olde Cock Tavern by boat and dined on beer and lobster. Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) who wrote the first English dictionary and Oliver Goldsmith (1730-1774) poet, playwright and novelist were also both guests in the 18th century and their friendship was said to have blossomed over an ale or two at the pub. Other famous faces that have drank in the pub include Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

In 1984, the ‘Goldsmith’s ghost’ appeared in the pub in front of punters and caused a small panic, but worse than that a woman working at the pub also encountered a smiling disembodied head at the rear of the building. Upon seeing this, her scream was so loud it is said to have been heard throughout the pub. The woman later identified the head from a painting as belonging to the writer Oliver Goldsmith, who is buried outside the pub.

Due to the pubs location opposite The High Courts several celebrities drop in to toast their success or drown their sorrows. 2010 has brought in Ivana Trump, Pete Docherty and Robert Powell. And in 2010 rock icons Kings of Leon came in for an American ex pats Halloween party. The Sports Journalists Association regularly meet here and guests have included Martin Johnson, Ossie Ardiles, Roger Black, Rebecca Adlington and TV presenters John Inverdale and Claire Balding.

Read more...

The pub was first known as The Cock Alehouse and began life on the north side of Fleet Street and played host to many historic people including Alfred Lord Tennyson, Charles Dickens and Doctor Johnson. In 1887 it moved to its present location to allow the new branch of the Bank of England to be built. It was lovingly reconstructed and original features include the fireplace, its overmantle and the decorative cockerel which is believed to have been made by the master carver, Grinling Gibbons. These are all on the first floor of the pub. It also has old style green and red leather sofas, mimicking the benches of the nearby House of Commons and Lords. This all adds to the traditional warm and friendly atmosphere which goes perfectly with the delicious food and fine range of cask ale on offer.

Fleet Street was, until relatively recently, the home of the press and publishing world with London’s first printing shop being established around 1500. Because of the link with this industry the many cafes and pubs in the area have long been connected with writers, politicians and intellectuals that gathered to debate the great issues of the day.

The Temple Church was built for the Knights Templar and is the best of the four round churches still existing in England. Other notable buildings nearby are St Paul’s Cathedral, the Barbican and the Guildhall. Temple tube station is also only a short walk to the south towards the river Thames.

Show less...

Book online

Find Us

Ye Olde Cock Tavern

22 Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 1AA

Opening Times

Food Serving Times

Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Coaches Accepted
  • Historic Pub
  • Meeting Rooms
  • Offers Functions
  • Wifi

What's going on


Thirsty for more?