Ye Olde Mitre is located in Holborn close to Hatton Garden, the Diamond District of London. The building is a quite hard to find. Some way down Mitre Place, the black brick alley widens out and reveals a tiny pub with a frontage of oak and opaque leaded windows. The only reason you know that the pub is there is because of the amount of people in the alley.
The original Mitre Tavern was built in 1546 for the servants of the Bishops of Ely, who had a palace nearby. In 1576 Queen Elizabeth the First commandeered a gatehouse and a portion of the Palace grounds for her court favourite Sir Christopher Hatton and she regularly came visiting. After stints as a prison and a Civil War hospital, the Palace reverted to the Crown in Georgian times and was then demolished.
This version of the Mitre was actually built around 1772, soon after the demolition of the nearby Bishops Palace. However the rebuilt pub has a stone mitre from a palace gatepost built into its front wall. Also a cherry tree, which once marked the boundary of the ground gifted to Hatton, is still there, preserved in the corner of the cosy panelled front bar.
Ye Old Mitre is quaint on the outside and cosy and serene inside. The décor includes Tudor beams, coal fires, portraits of Henry VIII and dozens of whisky water jugs hanging from the ceiling. There are tiny rooms to choose from, such as the royal red, the Bishop’s Room lounge or Ye Closet, a cubbyhole that intimately seats six people. In other words the place is stuffed with character. However, do not expect a beer swilling crowd. The pub is now a sedate drinking spot frequented by bankers, Fleet Street hacks and tourists eating homemade pork pies.
For more information go to www.yeoldemitreholborn.co.uk/
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