PIN The Lamb and Flag

Covent Garden's Hidden Gem

This pub is (possibly) one of the oldest in London and is tucked away outside the main currents ebbing and flowing to Covent Garden. The Lamb and Flag is a favourite with locals and visitors to the city and has been renamed quite a few times. It is recorded as being licensed premises in 1772, when it was the Cooper’s Arms but whether the building was a pub before then is impossible to say. However, there had been a Cooper’s Arms on the other side of the alley, although from 1751 to 1771 the licensee occupied both buildings. What can be said is that the pubs of genuine antiquity like the Lamb and Flag are a rarity in central London.

The Lamb and Flag has a very traditional interior, with lots of brass and varnished wood to complement plenty of antique fixtures and fittings. It has a good selection of ales which can be taken outside if the weather allows.


Part of the street where the pub sits was originally called Red Rose Street or Rose Alley. In 1679 the poet John Dryden was attacked by masked ruffians as he walked home from Will’s coffee house The thugs were hired by John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester, and the Duchess of Portsmouth taking their revenge for a satirical essay lampooning the king, the earl and the duchesses.

In the 19th century, the pub became known as the Bucket of Blood where it hosted bare-knuckle fist fights. In 1833 it was re-named the Lamb and Flag bearing a once-common London pub sign depicting the Holy Lamb bearing a cross surmounted by a golden streamer - the armorial device of the Middle Temple.

TripTide Thoughts

All round a decent pub with lots of apparent ‘olde-worlde’ atmosphere.


  • Alcohol
  • , History


The Lamb & Flag , 33 Rose Street , Covent Garden London, WC2E 9EB (View on Google Maps)
Ye Olde Ale House

from £5.00-7.50 per pint

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