Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London



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10 July 2009

The Spaniards Inn, Hampstead

It's another of London's historic pubs and who is first in the list of notable patrons? That's right, Charles Dickens once drank here, and the pub featured in his books the Pickwick Papers and Barnaby Rudge: A Tale of the Riots of 'Eighty. Alongside him, highwayman Dick Turpin (whose father was the landlord), Lord Byron, Bram Stoker, John Keats and Karl Marx were all regulars, though not all at the same time.

If nothing else, this adds to your author's opinion that Dickens was a rampant alcoholic, if only by virtue of the sheer number of pubs he frequented, but at least he had taste. This one, the Spaniards Inn, was built in 1585 as a tollgate inn, forming the entrance to the Bishop of London's estate. The tollgate remains and traffic is reduced to one lane outside, often making it difficult to cross the road.

The pub itself is very pleasant, and is the perfect spot for a bit of Sunday lunch on a circular walk around the Heath and Kenwood House before heading back into Hampstead Village. Having said that, there are said to be many ghosts, with Turpin's ghost resident upstairs, the ghost of 'Black Dick', a moneylender who was killed by a coach on the road outside downstairs, and a ghost horse in the car park.

Your author thoroughly recommends whiling away a summers afternoon here. For more information, visit the website at http://www.thespaniardshampstead.co.uk.

Click here to see the location on a map.

^Picture from Wikipedia under Wikimedia Commons^


  1. your blog is good
    i like it

  2. It's sound scaring,is that really true, because i don't believe in these supernatural things, & but i always been curious.

    historic pubs of london