The Magdala Tavern

The Magdala Tavern

Ruth Ellis, shot her lover David Blakely, outside this pub, 1955

Location: 2a South Hill Park, Hampstead, NW3 2SB

Description: Today this fine independent beer house by Hampstead Heath is named after the British victory in the 1868 Battle of Magdala.

In 1868 the Emperor Tewodros II of Ethiopia captured and enslaved the British envoy after Queen Victoria had rejected the Emperor's offer of marriage. The British army led by Sir Robert Napier, took up a rescue mission and upon defeat the Emperor committed suicide and his mountain palace at Magdala Hill was ransacked and destroyed.

It is thought that a British sergeant managed to liberate enough riches from the palace to enable him to build the tavern that he named in honour of the victory.

Ruth Ellis, shot her lover David Blakely (who had been drinking here) outside this pub in April 1955 and, when convicted in July that year at the Old Bailey, became the last woman to be hanged in Great Britain (in Holloway Prison).

The Magdala has been listed as an Asset of Community Value since September 2014.

Themes: PubPub Theme  CrimeCrime Theme  MurderMurder Theme
The Magdala Tavern

Ruth Ellis, shot her lover David Blakely, outside this pub, 1955

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Credits: The London Compnanion - Jo Swinnerton

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