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Old Holborn

Posted on 2010/10/29 08:26:40 (October 2010).

[Saturday 23rd October 2010]
Chie went out to Kent for most of the day to visit a friend, so I had a day to myself.

I decided to go back to the London Metropolitan Archives (having also been two weeks ago) to try and find more about the history of the Seven Stars. I've been trying to prove that it is the oldest pub in London, to which end I'm trying to find records which prove its consistent use as a pub throughout its four hundred year history. You can see all the findings of my research here if you're interested. Although I didn't really manage to make any huge progress at the LMA today, from reading a book I recently bought (Lost London 1870-1945 by Philip Davies), and from various sources on the Internet, I've started to build a picture of what an incredible survival the Seven Stars is, if indeed it really does prove to be the original building. Had it been a hundred yards or so to the East, it would have been destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Had it been a hundred yards to the West, it would likely have been demolished in the early 20th Century as part of the redevelopment of Aldwych and Kingsway. Had it just been on the South side of Carey Street, rather than the North side, it would have been demolished for the construction of he Royal Courts of Justice in the 1870s.

The records I was reading at the LMA today gave the names of landlords of the pubic houses on Carey Street throughout the early half of the 18th Century, but they don't include the names of any of the pubs during that period. So the earliest mention I've found so far of the Seven Stars in the records there is 1753 - I'd still need to go back another century-and-a-half to prove it really has been there since 1602.

After leaving the LMA I went for a wander around the old parts of Holborn I had been reading about, and took some photos of various buildings and interesting architectural features. It's a fascinating part of London, home to many of the best pubs, and plenty of interesting history.

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