Liverpool Street Station was first served by the Metropolitan Railway on 1st February 1875, using the mainline platforms of the National Rail station. This didn’t last long and was replaced by dedicated sub-surface platforms under the name ‘Bishopsgate’ on 1st July 1875. It was remained Liverpool Street in 1909 and the Central London Railway(now the Central Line) terminated here from 1912, before being extended east after World War Two.
There are some heritage features at platform level for the sub-surface lines – as seen by the old staircase/bridge over the platforms in the gallery. The exit into Liverpool Street Station feels rather modern and there is even a large fruitstand in the ticket hall.
The Pub: Dirty Dick’s, 202 Bishopsgate, EC2M 4NR
Given its ‘distinctive’ name, most people who use Liverpool Street station or know the area well have heard of Dirty Dick’s, whether they’ve been in it or not. It’s across the road from the station at Bishopsgate. With it’s neon-red sign, it’s certainly hard to miss.
This is a pub with real history to it. It is named after Nathaniel(or Richard) Bentley, a 19th century Ironmonger who lived nearby. Upon the death of his fiancee on the eve of their wedding, Bentley was heartbroken and left the wedding cake et all untouched, as the cobwebs formed and his wedding clothes turned to rags. When I first heard this, I thought it sounded remarkably similar to the character Miss Havisham in Charles Dickens ‘Great Expectations’. After doing a bit more digging, I found that apparently it was Bentley’s tale that inspired Dickens.
Enough of this little history lesson, back to the pub itself. It’s certainly got a traditional vibe when you enter, with a low ceiling and wood beams aplenty. For some reason it made me think of the Medieval Zone from the Crystal Maze, no bad thing in my book! On a Thursday evening it was fairly busy with the post work crew. Unlike other city pubs however it is open on Saturday night too, right up until 1am.
Despite being right by Liverpool Street station, it has a unique character of its own that many other venues near stations(especially say Victoria) seem to lack. Its a Youngs pub so has their usual, dependable ale selection. Now not only does Dirty Dick’s have a quiz machine, it also has an old school golf game which reminded me of one I had on the SNES – minus its jaunty music mind you.
After seeing this pub for years and never dropping in, I’m glad I made it up for lost time. I thoroughly recommend paying Dirty Dick’s a visit, a top London boozer!