Mansion House Station first opened on 3rd July 1871, as the new terminus of the Metropolitan District Railway, following the construction of the extension from Blackfriars.
The station itself retains few historic features as it was comprehensively rebuilt at the end of the 1980s to facilitate the construction of a new entrance. Talking of the 1980s, there is a very ’80s clock at platform level…
Mansion House is perhaps best known as the official residence of the Lord Mayor of London(no, not Boris..) and where the Chancellor of Exchequer gives his annual speech on the state of the economy. In recent years these speeches have no doubt caused many to head to the nearest pub to drown their sorrows..
The Pub: Ye Olde Watling, 29 Watling Street, EC4M 9BR
Ye Olde Watling is very close to Mansion House station, if you head up Cannon Street and then turn onto the historic Watling Street, the old Roman Road from the City. This is a pub steeped in history, located right next to Sir Christopher Wren’s St Mary Aldermary Church. A church stood here prior to the great fire of London but was badly damaged and effectively rebuilt by Wren, reopening in 1682.
The pub itself claims to date back to 1667 and was a watering hole of Wren’s. Indeed it is said he worked on the plans for the nearby St Pauls Cathedral in the room above the pub. It still has a very traditional vibe with wooden beams throughout the interior – according to the pub’s website it said it was built with old ships’ timbers by Wren himself.
On our visit, it was heaving with the post-work trade and you can imagine it is a very popular venue throughout the week. As a Nicholson’s pub, it was throwing a bit of a party to mark the 1st birthday of Nicholson’s Pale Ale. The Ale is brewed by St. Austell’s, the brewery behind that fine pint ‘Tribute.’ They were offering raffle tickets with each pint, we won 20% off our next round! As well as the busy main bar, there is a back room where we found a seat as well as an upstairs for private hire.
This is a great atmospheric pub in the heart of the City of London, I strongly recommend a visit. But please do bare in mind that as a city pub, it closes at 8pm on Saturdays and 5pm on Sundays.