The Viaduct Tavern History
The Viaduct Tavern is a beautiful pub adorning the heart of London since 1869. One that has stood the test of time and remained true to its sinister history. It exists as the last remaining example of a true Gin Palace within the city of London. These establishments were created to be lavish drinking holes that catered to the high end of society. Though poorer Londoners who drank gin for its affordability would also frequent the pub.
Still present within the glorious establishment are omens to its past. Behind the bar rests an old ticket booth that was once operated by the landlord. This small, protective structure was where tickets required for drink redemption would have been purchased. That way, the owner could maintain control over all money earned and not have to worry about dodgy staff and even shadier bar patrons.
A bullet hole can be sighted in one of the paintings adoring the walls of the Viaduct Tavern. The ruptured canvas has remained in place since a drunken WWI soldier discharged his weapon within the building. It is what is still intact within the underground cellar of the bar, which has gained the interest of many. For below the floor of the Viaduct Tavern are several mysterious prison cells.
Directly across the street from the Viaduct Tavern was where the harsh and notorious Old Newgate Prison once stood. in this same area lies a small fountain, believed to be where public executions of the jail’s prisoners where undertaken. Due to their locale and the fact that this space can be seen from every window within the Viaduct Tavern, it became a popular viewing venue for executions. Another prison, known as the Old Giltspurt Street Compter, also once existed in the tavern’s general vicinity. That particular jail was a debtors prison and was demolished in the 1850s. Many believe that the Viaduct Tavern may have been built over the top of where that prison once stood. Explaining the presence of its underground prison cells. Others are hesitant to believe this and the cells remain somewhat of a mystery to this day.
Vast amounts of history crammed into the vicinity and building of the Viaduct Tavern have made it a prime candidate for ghost stories and many believe it to be one of the most haunted places in London.
The Haunted Viaduct Tavern, London
Though there are many reports of paranormal activity occurring within the supposedly haunted Viaduct Tavern, some stories are particularly creepy.
Aside from the cheeky ghost thought to steal patrons drinks from the bar when they aren’t looking, a few other spirits are thought to dwell in the premises. The upstairs area of the building is said to be particularly haunted. A landlord’s daughter claimed to experience a vivid interaction with an unseen force in the 1980s. Whilst sitting in an upstairs bedroom she claimed to hear heavy footsteps ascend the stairs, the door to the room she was sitting in then suddenly swung open. Before she could comprehend what was happening the newspaper within her hands was snatched away and thrown to the floor. The same footsteps were then heard descending back down the staircase. Although this interaction was with an unseen force, she proceeded to search the entire building for anyone else who may be present. She found no one. Other claims of poltergeist activity occurring within the upper floors also exists.
It may come as no surprise to learn that the creepy former prison cells in the Viaduct Tavern’s cellar are thought to be the most haunted place in the pub. One ghost story associated with this area is particularly disturbing. It centers on a former landlord who had entered the cellar. His experience was a frightening one, as all of the lights suddenly went out and the door he had entered through slammed shut behind him. Then, whilst he was alone in the dark, he heard a voice whisper into his ear: “it’s just you and me down here now.”
Visiting the haunted Viaduct Tavern in London
Though London’s Viaduct Tavern has some spooky ghost stories and dark history, it is a truly gorgeous pub. The cocktail list, beer and gin selection on offer is amazing. Staff are also extremely friendly. I was lucky enough for one of them to escort me downstairs to take a look at the old jail cells. If you are traveling to London or are ever nearby, I highly recommend paying the Viaduct Tavern a visit.
If you enjoyed reading this and are looking for other spooky places to check out in London, take a trip to Highgate Cemetery.
Thanks for reading!
Posted by David Whiting on October 16, 2018
Hey from The Ghost Attic! Im just letting you know that I enjoyed your article and have linked it to my latest post My Favourite Haunted London Pubs. Thanks for the opportunity to link with you. Keep up with the creepiness!
Posted by Amy on October 17, 2018
Hi David. Thank you so much for linking my article. I am glad you found it interesting. I left a comment on your blog, too – Looks like I am going to have a few pubs to visit on my next trip to London. Perhaps a pub crawl is in order! Thanks again.
Posted by Roger Kings on February 3, 2021
Hi Amy, Read your article on The Viaduct Tavern, London with great interest. I believe my Great Grandfather George Fairey ran this pub around the end of the 19th century. Roger Kings
Posted by Amy on February 7, 2021
Thanks for sharing, Roger. I love the ghost stories AND history of the haunted viaduct tavern!