Ye Olde Mitre – London, England - Gastro Obscura

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Gastro Obscura

Ye Olde Mitre

Down a pint of ale where the Bishop of Ely's servants slept in 1546. 

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Housed in a building dating back to 1546, this pub resides in what was once the servant’s quarters for the Bishop of Ely’s palace. Inside the dimly lit interior, patrons can view the remains of a cherry tree that Queen Elizabeth I and Lord Chancellor, Sir Christopher Hatton allegedly danced around when it was used as a Maypole. Sir Hatton was one of the judges who found Mary, Queen of Scots to be guilty of treason. He was reported to be a favorite subject of Queen Elizabeth I.

The pub was expanded in 1782 before being remodeled internally in the 1930s but still retains its historic charm. The remains of the cherry tree is tucked away in a corner, behind glass, to the right of the main entrance. The menu sticks to the classic staples of meat pies and toasties, although curiously, refuses to put chips on the menu. Order a pint and Mr. Barrick’s pickle and Stilton pork pie, which is baked in-house.

The pub gets its name from the headgear that would adorn Bishop Ely’s brow. Technically, Bishop’s Ely’s residence was a part of Cambridgeshire, and therefore not under the auspice of the City of London. Because of this quirky situation, criminals would hide out in the interior of this Grade II listed building to avoid capture. The cherry tree was said to be the boundary marker between the properties of the Bishop and Sir Hatton. 

Know Before You Go

The nearest tube stops are Farringdon and Chancery Lane. The pub is located down a small alley between Hatton Garden and Ely Place.

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March 1, 2023

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