The George was one of many coaching inns in the area, as it was from around here that the Roman highway Watling Street left London for Canterbury (for pilgrimage) and the sea ports beyond (for the continent). One of the most famous, The Tabard, was chosen by Chaucer for the beginning of The Canterbury Tales in 1388. Watling Street was the main road through South East England for thousands of years, and these coaching inns served as a setting off point for those who could afford horse-power.
Later, The George was one of the many famous London hostelries where Charles Dickens chose to wet his whistle, and it was mentioned in Little Dorrit. Shakespeare was allegedly another visitor, coming from the Globe Theatre a short distance away.
In more recent times, we are told that the Great Northern Railway used the George as a depot and pulled down two of its fronts to build warehousing. Whilst only the south face remains, it does appear to have survived better than any other example, so perhaps there is reason to be thankful for the railway usage. The pub is now owned and protected by the National Trust, and run by a private company.
For more, see http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/w-georgeinn