The George Inn

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Words by Simon Difford on 20-Oct-2012

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Address: George Inn Yard, 77 Borough High Street, London, SE1 1NH, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7407 2056
Website: View bar's website
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun noon-10:30pm
Door: Open door
Style: Pub traditional
Recommended for: Historic interest
Price guide: Value
Food: Full menu
Established: 1676
Owned by: National Trust


London's only surviving galleried coaching inn is tucked away in a cobbled courtyard just off Borough High Street. The George was rebuilt in 1676, following a fire swept that through Southwark, devastating the original inn which dated to before 1542. Then in 1874, The Great Northern Railway demolished two of its fa├žades to make way for warehousing, leaving just the galleried south face. This is now owned by the National Trust who lease it to Green King.

Behind the pretty lattice windows The George is touristy but olde world. Interconnecting bars feature low ceilings, oak beams, old settles, alcoves and chimney corners. The upstairs, galleried part with its dark panelling originally housed bedchambers and is now a restaurant and function rooms.

William Shakespeare often frequented the inn and they say he once performed in the cobbled courtyard. The novelist Charles Dickens was another regular who referred to The George in his novel Little Dorrit.

Today this historic old boozer is overlooked by an ugly modern office block but it remains a popular summer time drinking spot. Beware coachloads of tourists and the far from special service, food and drinks offering. Only location and history make The George worthy of attention.

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