Esoteric London

No. 75: Faulkners Alley, EC1

Posted in Entertainment, Pubs by esotericlondon on June 11, 2010

Faulkners Alley, London, EC1. Photo © Roger Dean 2010

Old and New London, vol. 3 – Walter Thornbury, 1878:

In Drury Lane was one of the several “cockpits,” or places reserved for cock-fighting, which a century ago or earlier were to be found scattered about London. Mr. John Timbs tells us that one of our oldest theatres was called the “Cock-pit,” namely, the “Phœnix” in Drury Lane, and that the site of it is still to be traced in the name of Pit or Pitt Place, an abridgment of “Cock-pit” Place. Samuel Pepys thus describes in his “Diary” a visit to one of these places, not far from Drury Lane:—”December 21. To Shoe Lane to a cock-fighting at a new pit: but Lord! to see the strange variety of people, from Parliament men, to the poorest ‘prentices, bakers, brewers, butchers, draymen, and what not; and all these fellows, one with another, cursing and betting. Strange that such poor people, that look as if they had not bread to put in their mouths, shall bet three or four pounds at a time, and lose it, and yet bet as much the next battle, so that one of them will lose £10 or £20 at a meeting! I soon had enough of it.”

[The Castle pub on Cowcross Street EC1 is, I believe, the only pub to hold a pawnbroker’s licence. Granted by George IV so he could pawn his watch after he found himself short of money after visiting a cockfight in the area. A picture depicting this can be found inside the pub whilst the three brass balls, the sign of a pawnbroker, can be seen on the exterior wall. R.D.]

2 Responses

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  1. jacqui larsen said, on June 11, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    love this image Roger

  2. […] more on pawnbrokers see post No. 75 by clicking here. R.D.] Share this:StumbleUponDiggRedditLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tagged with: […]


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