Bull and Bush

Pub/bar/cafe in/near North End, existing between 1625 and now

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Pub/bar/cafe · North End · NW3 · Contributed by Scott Hatton
FEBRUARY
26
2014
The Old Bull and Bush

The Old Bull and Bush is a Grade II listed public house near Hampstead Heath in London which gave its name to the music hall song ’Down at the old Bull and Bush’.

The building was originally constructed as a farmhouse in 1645 but in 1721 it gained a licence to sell ale and became a ’public house’. It quickly became a haunt for artists and literary scholars including famous artist William Hogarth, who is said to have planted by his own hand the yew bower in the garden.

When Hogarth gave it up, the house was adapted to the purposes of an inn, and was visited by Gainsborough and Sir Joshua Reynolds, David Garrick, Kean and Macready.

Early in the nineteenth century the " Bull and Bush " entertained, among many other literati, William Hone, the antiquary, and Charles Lamb, who were one day wandering among the brushwood on the Heath near the back of the inn, denouncing the evils of snuff, and by agreement threw away each one his snuff-box, after which they returned to their London homes wiser but melancholy men. Early next day Lamb was seen poking among the furze bushes, when Hone appeared walking in the same part of the Heath with eyes riveted on the ground, and with apologies and sadness offered his friend snuff from a paper packet bought this same morning.

In 1867 the pub acquired a music licence when Henry Humphries was the landlord and by the 1890s it was renowned for its gardens and music. In the Edwardian era it became even more popular, as it was a favourite place for Cockneys on a day out in the ’country’. In the 1920s it again leapt to fame with the music hall song, sung by the 15 stone Florrie Forde, the ’Madonna’ of her time who once said "Men don’t like thin women".

The building underwent a major reconstruction in 1924 when owned by the Ind Coope brewery.

Another refurbishment took place in 1987 and then the interior was renovated to a modern, gastropub style with an openly visible kitchen - it was reopened to the public on 24 March 2006. Until the introduction of the English smoking ban on 1 July 2007, The Bull and Bush was one of the few completely smoke-free pubs in London.

The ‘Old Bull and Bush’ was reputedly haunted for over a hundred years by a dark figure in Victorian clothing. The 2006 renovations may have uncovered the reason: bricked-up behind a wall in the cellar was an old skeleton and Victorian surgical instruments.

Near to the pub was the site of the proposed North End tube station (whose popular name was Bull and Bush station) on the Northern Line. As a lot of the surrounding area had been purchased in 1906 so as to protect it from development between planning and proposed opening, only the platforms were excavated, and the station construction was cancelled. An entrance leading down 197 steps to platform level is located on the corner of North End and Wildwood Terrace.

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I lived at 2 Rudall Crescent until myself and my family moved out in 1999. I once met a lady in a art fair up the road who was selling old photos of the area and was very knowledgeable about the area history, collecting photos over the years. She told me that before the current houses were built, there was a large manor house , enclosed by a large area of land. She told me there had been a fire there. Im trying to piece together the story and find out what was on the land before the crescent was built. This website is very interesting.
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VIEW THE NORTH END AREA IN THE 1750s
The 1750 Rocque map is bounded by Sudbury (NW), Snaresbrook (NE), Eltham (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1750 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH END AREA IN THE 1800s
The 1800 mapping is bounded by Stanmore (NW), Woodford (NE), Bromley (SE) and Hampton Court (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1800 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH END AREA IN THE 1830s
The 1830 mapping is bounded by West Hampstead (NW), Hackney (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Chelsea (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1830 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH END AREA IN THE 1860s
The 1860 mapping is bounded by Brent Cross (NW), Stratford (NE), Greenwich (SE) and Hammermith (SW).
Outside these bounds, the 1860 map does not display.

VIEW THE NORTH END AREA IN THE 1900s
The 1900 mapping covers all of the London area.

 

 
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Hampstead

Hampstead though now considered an integral part of London, has retained much of its village charm.

Hampstead is on a steep hill and the tube station platforms are the deepest on the London Underground network, at 58.5 metres below ground level. It has the deepest lift shaft on the Underground.

Although early records of Hampstead itself can be found in a grant by King Ethelred the Unready to the monastery of St. Peter's at Westminster (AD 986) and it is referred to in the Domesday Book (1086), the history of Hampstead is generally traced back to the 17th century.

Trustees of the Well started advertising the medicinal qualities of the chalybeate waters (water impregnated with iron) in 1700. Although Hampstead Wells was initially successful, its popularity declined in the 1800s due to competition with other London spas. The spa was demolished in 1882, although a water fountain was left behind.

Hampstead started to expand following the opening of the North London Railway in the 1860s (now on the London Overground), and expanded further after the tube station opened in 1907.


LOCATIONS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Hare and Hounds:   The Hare and Hounds was the northernmost public house in Hampstead.
North End:   North End is a village-like area between Hampstead and Golders Green.
Wyldes Farm:   Wyldes Farm - where Dickens stayed and Hampstead Garden Suburb was realised.


NEARBY STREETS AND BUILDINGS ON THE UNDERGROUND MAP
Britten Close, NW11 · Chandos Way, NW11 · Heath Brow, NW3 · Inverforth Close, NW3 · Morland Close, NW11 · Mountview Close, NW11 · North End Avenue, NW3 · North End Road, NW3 · North End Way, NW3 · North End, NW3 · Romney Close, NW11 · Sandy Road, NW11 · Sandy Road, NW3 · The Limes, NW3 · The Village, NW3 · Thurlby Road, HA0 · Turners Wood, NW11 · Wellgarth Road, NW11 · Wildwood Grove, NW3 · Wildwood Rise, NW11 · Wyldes Close, NW3 ·


USING THIS MATERIAL IN OTHER ARTICLES

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The Fascination of Hampstead
By G. E. Mitton (1902)
Hampstead
Facebook Page
Golders Green
Facebook Page
Hidden London
Histor­ically inclined look at the capital’s obscure attractions
Londonist
All-encompassing website
British History Online
Digital library of key printed primary and secondary sources.
Time Out
Listings magazine

Maps


John Rocque Map of Hampstead (1762).
John Rocque (c. 1709–1762) was a surveyor, cartographer, engraver, map-seller and the son of Huguenot émigrés. Roque is now mainly remembered for his maps of London. This map dates from the second edition produced in 1762. London and his other maps brought him an appointment as cartographer to the Prince of Wales in 1751. His widow continued the business after his death. The map of Hampstead covers an area stretching from the edge in the northwest of present-day Dollis Hill to Islington in the southeast.
John Rocque, The Strand, London

Environs of London (1832) FREE DOWNLOAD
Engraved map. Hand coloured. Relief shown by hachures. A circle shows "Extent of the twopenny post delivery."
Chapman and Hall, London

London Underground Map (1921).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1921.
London Transport

The Environs of London (1865).  FREE DOWNLOAD
Prime meridian replaced with "Miles from the General Post Office." Relief shown by hachures. Map printed in black and white.
Published By J. H. Colton. No. 172 William St. New York

London Underground Map (1908).  FREE DOWNLOAD
London Underground map from 1908.
London Transport

Ordnance Survey of the London region (1939) FREE DOWNLOAD
Ordnance Survey colour map of the environs of London 1:10,560 scale
Ordnance Survey. Crown Copyright 1939.

Outer London (1901) FREE DOWNLOAD
Outer London shown in red, City of London in yellow. Relief shown by hachures.
Stanford's Geographical Establishment. London : Edward Stanford, 26 & 27, Cockspur St., Charing Cross, S.W. (1901)
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