|Venue : The Cockpit, 7, St. Andrews Hill, London. EC4V 5BY|
|Reviewed : December 2012||Telephone : 020 7248 7315|
Chain : Enterprise Inns
|Facilities : Gaming machine|
Step back in time and enjoy The Cockpit, a lovely old pub in the westerly side of the City near St. Paul's Cathedral. A pub has stood on this site, the junction of Ireland Yard and St Andrew's Hill, since the 16th century. The Cockpit takes its name from the fact that it used to be a major venue for gambling during cock fights, which was stopped in 1849. The Cockpit is a small pub, with a high ceiling where you can still see a gallery which I presume was packed with gamblers when the fights did take place.
Dispute this sordid past The Cockpit is well worth a visit, although the Courage, Pedigree and Adnam's are usually well kept on my visit the Pedigree and Courage were not at their best.
Of the few London locations associated with William Shakespeare, Ireland Yard is by far the best documented, now just a small alley, in Shakespeare's day it was the main entrance to Blackfriars monastery. The monastery buildings had been seized and sold off during the dissolution but they were mostly left intact. The former gatehouse was purchased by Shakespeare in 1613 for the sum of £140, thought to be in partnership with fellow actors as a second theatre. The exact location of the gatehouse has been lost, the only remaining reference being Ireland Yard.