Cannon Street Station is at the heart of the City of London. It first opened in 1884 on the snappily named Metropolitan Inner Circle Completion Railway, with services at the time run by both the Metropolitan and Metropolitan District Railways, after the two had clashed over the completion of what is now known as the Circle Line. It’s now served by both the District and Circle Lines.
The station itself was rebuilt in the 1960s alongside the British Rail Station which was sadly yet another victim of what passed for ‘design’ at the time.
The architect behind the grim 1960s rebuild, John Poulson, was later found to have exploited a friendship he had with a British Rail surveyor to win numerous contracts. Poulson’s murky world of corruption extended far beyond British Rail, his connections went right to the top of 1970s Britain and the then Home Secretary, Reginald Maudling, who had to resign at the height of the scandal in 1972.
Thankfully Cannon Street Underground Station was extensively refurbished as part of the redevelopment of the main line station which has just taken place. Prior to that, it was pretty bleak as this website shows!
The Pub: London Stone, 109 Cannon Street, EC4N 5AD
The London Stone is right opposite the main station, making it an ideal venue for commuters after a long day in the office. On our visit on a sunny Thursday in September, it was certainly attracting the post work crowd. However the setting is slightly different than you’d expect from your typical pub in this kind of area.
It’s themed as a ghostly, haunted pub. The company in question that runs it is even called the Eerie Pub Co. There are three others across the country, including one in Aberdeen, Slains Castle, which my friend who was with me had visited before and said was very similar! The pub’s name is said to come from a Stone that was from where the Romans measured all distances in Britain, known also apparently as ‘The Stone of Brutus.’
The Stone’s decor includes various Goblin type statues, lights styled like flickering candles and imposing gothic-esque seating booths. The cocktails are even themed around the Seven Deadly Sins… To counter that, we went for one of the ales on tap – The Reverend James.. At the weekend it is more of a bar/club venue only opens at 10pm on a Saturday for the themed night they have on.
I was pretty taken with the London Stone. I honestly don’t know why someone thought a goth themed pub would be a hit by Cannon Street. But the office workers still come in their droves and seeing them having a pint in what looks like the set of an 80s Alice Cooper video just adds to the appeal. Well worth a visit!