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

3 June 2010

Drink in the pub where tailors & drapers pitched their case

The Hand and Shears, on Cloth Fair in Smithfield, has an interesting history. Cloth Fair got its names from the cloth fairs which were held in and around the street and Smithfield, with the first apparently being held as early as August 1133.

At the time, tailors and drapers travelled from around the country to buy and sell, and by Tudor times the Cloth Fair had become more regimented. Merchant Tailors would check cloth by measurement and those caught disobeying strict rules were brought to this pub for their case to be heard in the court upstairs.

The pub was eventually given a formal role by the Merchant Tailors, and was allowed to carry the sign of the guild, the 'hand and shears', from where it gets its name. Whilst the Cloth Fair itself was last held in the mid 19th-century, the name and association with the trade continues.

For more, see http://www.pubs.com/main_site/pub_details.php?pub_id=105%22#


  1. Fascinating piece of history, and a great little boozer as well!

  2. A court above a pub? What an interesting use of space available!