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Spaniards Inn

By tony64  
Good Morning everyone!
My pub sign this morning is ‘The Spaniards Inn’ in Hampstead.
I have deliberately left the sign at an angle – as that’s how its hanging!

Its one of London’s most interesting pubs. The country lane that passed this inn is now a busy road, it cuts between the pub and an 18th century toll keeper's cottage. Buses, lorries and cars squeeze past one another, but as both buildings are listed, they can't be altered.

There are two stories about its name. It was built in 1585 as the country house of the Spanish ambassador; or, it was later owned by two brothers, also Spanish, who turned it into a pub around the mid 18th century. The brothers fought a duel over a woman, who decided that neither of them were worthy of her!

The connection between Hampstead Heath and highwaymen is legendary. The most famous of them, **** Turpin, is said to have drunk here and used it as a hide-out. According to the pub's own information, his father was the landlord here in the early 18th century and Richard was born at the inn.

Turpin's father did run a pub, but in Hempstead, Essex. Furthermore, it seems likely the Spaniards became an inn some years after **** was hanged in York in 1739. If Turpin's ghost haunts this pub, as well others, it's because he was a cruel, unscrupulous thief and murderer, who made most of his money by terrorising farmers and torturing their families. Nonetheless, a bar is named in his dubious honour! A pistol ball fired by Turpin is framed above the bar.

John Keats, Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Blake, Joshua Reynolds, John Constable, Mary Shelley, William Hogarth, Lord Byron, AE Houseman and Evelyn Waugh all have some association with the place.

Have a great weekend!

Tags: Photo journalism Architecture Humour and fun

Voters: rontear, baclark, nclark and 8 more

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rontear Plus
19 23 9 England
2 May 2009 7:58AM
Know this pub well Tony, in my plumbing days had to work here several times ! Low cielings and nothing straight. Ron.
tony64 18 204 9 England
2 May 2009 8:00AM
Didn't know you were a plumber Ron! ...Could be useful!
baclark 13 3.7k 24 United Kingdom
2 May 2009 8:27AM
Good set of images Tony, with your story it really sets the scene of the pub. Once upon a time just a horse and cart would pass by, not half the vehicles in London.....progress!
Never been here looks interesting, will have to get directions!

Have a good weekend.
nclark 13 11 1 United Kingdom
2 May 2009 9:06AM
Looks like a great hostelry - what's the beer like?
2 May 2009 11:12AM
Nice series of shots and a good account to go with them.
Have passed this pub a few times on the bus to from Golders Green to Finsbury Park, must stop off some time for few photos and a few pints.


Joline Plus
16 38 59 United States
2 May 2009 12:37PM
Fascinating story. I so enjoy the pub sign Saturdays. A rich lesson in history, as well as fine photography.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 3.5k 2564 United Kingdom
2 May 2009 2:30PM
So many stories, gently embroidered over the years. It's wonderful how local history gets more adventurous after a few drinks have inspired the imagination. Fascinating place, from an age when roads weren't designed for buses and HGVs.
woolybill1 Plus
16 39 79 United Kingdom
2 May 2009 2:40PM
A simple and elegant sign that beckons the weary traveller to a small world of history and mystery..............

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