On the market

Legendary London pub put up for sale

By Liam Coleman

- Last updated on GMT

Legendary London pub put up for sale
North London pub, the Old Red Lion, which has attracted stars such as Jude Law and John Hurt in its 600-year history, has been bought to the market on a leasehold basis by Christie & Co.

The Grade II-listed venue on St John Street is one of London's oldest pubs, having originally been built in 1415 and is on sale for an asking price of £650,000.

The venue first gained a reputation in London in the 18th century as a well-known haunt for the era's literary crowd, including Samuel Johnson and Thomas Paine, who wrote parts of his seminal text Rights of Man​ under the shade of a cherry tree in the pub's forecourt.

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The pub was rebuilt in its current striking four-storey set-up in 1899. While the building didn't change much over the course of the following century, its entertainment offering did. In 1979, the pub became home to the Old Red Lion Theatre, which has played host to productions that have transferred to/off Broadway and the West End, including The Importance of Being Earnest​ (Theatre Royal Haymarket) and Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong​ (Duchess Theatre).

William Langton, business agent in Christie & Co’s London office, is handling the theatre’s sale and said: “The Old Red Lion presents a truly unique opportunity in what is a very active central London pub market. The theatre is extremely well known throughout the industry and I am sure it will present a very exciting option to publicans and theatre enthusiasts alike.

“From Samuel Johnson to Jude Law, from William Hogarth to John Hurt, the Old Red Lion has certainly proved to be a test of time, attracting a wealth of talent, names and faces for more than 600 years. A new owner will be able to continue these traditions through a thriving business and clientele from both the local and tourist trade.”

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