Hassrale Trips: Tower Hill

Date: Wednesday 23rd August 2000

This trip was supposed to go from Fenchurch St station to Liverpool St but we only got as far as Fenchurch St so the other trip will have to wait for a different occasion. I can't remember doing a trip in this neighborhood though we have done several very close and the last pub on this trip was actually on a trip last year but it is very convenient for the station. We start as you might expect at Tower Hill tube station, leaving by the exit on the west should immediately present you with a view of Trinity Square. This looks more like a semicircle rather than a square but I suppose that Trinity Semicircle would sound a little strange. Follow the curve of the square all the way round to where it meets the main road (Byward Street). This will afford you the chance to enjoy the impressive facade of Trinity House (which I initially thought was the pub but Wetherspoons have not yet got that ambitious. Where Trinity Square hits Byward Street you will find our first pub.

1. Liberty Bounds - 15 Trinity Square [18:30]

Beers: Standard Wetherspoons plus guests (on this occasion Hopback Summer Lightning and Hydes Jekylls Gold)

A large impressive pub (i.e standard Wetherspoons recent conversion) arranged on three levels in a former office premises. The area round the bar is quite dark and gloomy but most of the seating has been arranged by the large clear glass windows which give an excellent view of the Tower of London. Food is a strong theme and there even seems to be a designated area where children (accompanied by an adult) can sit (not that we saw any).

Now retrace your steps round Trinity Square and turn left up Savage Gardens, cross over Pepys Street and continue up Savage Gardens and you will see on your right.

2. FTs Free House/The English Club - Savage Gardens [19:15]

Beers: Charles Wells Bombadier, Courage Best

I can't swear to the actual name of this pub the only thing that was certain is that it was a Thorley Inn pub. From the ELAC guide it may once have been Bulla/The Savage Grill. From the double name you may deduce that there was something upstairs. I suspect some sort of sports bar as there was a promise of large screen TV and various special offers on drinks tied to sporting events. Anyway the downstairs bar was compact, dark and not too busy. Ornate flower basket festooned interior (according to JW). Most people were sitting at the bar which left the tables free for us to sit at.

Keep on up the road which now disappears underneath Fenchurch Street station where it runs into Crutched Friars. Looking across the road you should see our next port of call.

3. Cheshire Cheese - 48/50 Crutched Friars [20:00]

Beers: Bass, Fullers London Pride

Rather spartan establishment with one large ground floor area that was probably once two bars. Bare unpolished floor boards, a couple of high 'bird' tables and a handful of standard height tables break up the large drinking area. This once had gas lighting but now thankfully has reverted to a more conventional electric lighting. Its situation under the railway arches means that it is perpetually gloomy. Looked like a typical city crowd who all seemed quite lively. There was a projection TV showing Sky sports and the upstairs boasted of a Games room.

Turning right out of the pub we walk down Crutched Friars till we see on our right the next pub.

4. Crutched Friar - Crutched Friars [20:45]

Beers: Fullers London Pride

The entrance to this pub resembles an alleyway leading into a courtyard so I assume that this is some fairly recent conversion. The entrance leads you on a slight rise into the bar where you can see a small open air beer garden, one either side of the entrance passage are various small seating areas. The happy hours of 3-5 and 8-11 reflect the times when this pub is less busy. The music was too loud in the back bar but not too bad at the front.

We now continue on down Crutched Friars noting St Olaves on our left and after we pass into Hart Street you will see on the right pub number five.

5. Ship - Hart Street [21:30]

Beers: Courage Directors, Best

This used to be a Scottish & Newcastle pub and looks like it has been around for some time (unlike most on this trip). This is a one bar pub but notices indicate that there is a upstairs room where food is served at lunchtimes and functions can be held. There is a primeval feel to the vertiginous stone spiral staircase that takes you down to the gents toilets. My notes indicate that the ceiling was of interest though I have no memory of the significance.

On leaving we turn left into Mark Lane and make our way down to Great Tower Street where we should be able to see on the other side of the road our last pub.

6. Hung Drawn and Quartered - Great Tower Street [22:15]

Beers: Fullers London Pride, ESB, Chiswick, Summer Ale

A Fullers Ale & Pie house that has been open for a couple of years. Basic interior with much wood arranged on two levels (the right hand side is slightly raised). Bench seating and stripped pine table tops. The pavement is now extended as Gt Tower St has been made one way with lanes of traffic. On a warm evening it is quite pleasant to sit outside at one of the numerous tables. They started clearing them away just before 10 o'clock but this may just have been for the sake of tidyness.

Leaving here you turn right and walk the short distance back to Tower Hill station.

Trial Run:

Date: Wednesday 26th July 2000

Present: John Wright, James Featherstone, Edmund Featherstone

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