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IN THE NEWS
TOUR OF THE MONTH
ON THIS DAY IN LONDON
The Wig and Pen Club
Gossip, Tabloids and haunted by Oliver Cromwell
Location: 230 The Strand, Westminster, London, WC2R 1BA
Description: This is where the Wig and Pen Club - an exclusive private members club, directly opposite the Royal Courts of Justice and hence where gossip was sold to journalists by those appearing in court (hence the name). Since 2003 it has been a Thai restaurant.
Architecturally the building is extraordinary - it is one of the few in this part of London and indeed the only one here on The Strand to survive the Great Fire of London in 1666.
It was built in 1625 on Roman ruins and still has the original wooden suspended staircase, believed to be the only one of its kind still in existence anywhere in the world.
It was once the home of the Gatekeeper of Temple Bar, who began by selling a pennorth of meat and bread to the milling crowds gathered to view the severed heads of traitors displayed on the spikes of Temple Gate.
It now plays host to very exclusive clientele from around the world.
It is reputed that Oliver Cromwell haunts here, with some very unusual noises at night when the building is empty.
The leaded stained-glass window bearing the buildings original construction date still remains, inscribed with:
Go thy way, eat thy bread with joy and drink thy wine with a merry heart, for God approveth thy work.
Tagged in this Tour: Elizabethan & Stuart London
Tagged in this Tour: Interesting EC WC