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Essex Serpent

6 King Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 8HN

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Premises Status

This pub is permanently closed. Retail use since 2014

Owner

Marsa Holdings Ltd

About the Pub

Former 1874 pub on three floors now a boutique - ASH UK's flagship store. Somewhat of a sad loss as this was a long-time market pub, with a customer in his 90s remembering when his dad worked as a fruit and veg market porter bringing him here as a lad. The first floor restaurant provided a full service, and the inset stained glass in the rear wall worth noting. The pub sign was said to derive from the armorial bearings of Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. The Serpent may not have as long a pedigree as Robert (executed for treason at the Tower of London on February 25, 1601 having led a failed revolt against Elizabeth I) or the Iceni tribe, though it's name is said to be that used for another, Queen Boadicea. An alternative is proffered in Walter Thornbury's 1878 Old and New London: In his History of SignBoards 'Mr. Larwood suggests that this sign is an allusion to a fabulous monster recorded in a broadside of 1704, from which we learn that before Henry II died a dragon of marvellous bigness was discovered at St. Osyth, in Essex. In the absence of any more probable hypothesis, we may accept this suggestion as plausible, if not as satisfactory.' Legend has it that a dragon had a lair in the cellars of the Priory at St Osyth.

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Essex Serpent, London

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Essex Serpent

6 King Street
Covent Garden
London
WC2E 8HN

Sat Nav Reference

51.511762, -0.124133

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