Ye Olde Mitre Tavern: Police, keep out!

Ye Olde Mitre Tavern is one of the best boozers in London. Established in 1546, and rebuilt in the eighteenth century, it is hidden away down a blink-and-you'll-miss-it alleyway just off Holborn Circus.


The name of this alleyway is Ely Place, as it is part of land belonging to the Bishop of Ely, who kept a mansion here between 1290 and 1772, during this period 41 bishops used the house as their London residence. It was one of these, Bishop Goodrich, who added the tavern to the Ely Complex in 1546.


Criminals used Ye Olde Mitre Tavern for altogether less-devout purposes. As the tavern nominally stood on Ely land, the Metropolitan Police had no influence over it, ergo they couldn't arrest a man who was wanted in London if he stood in Ely. Consequently, the bar here often played host to various criminals on the run, who would take a seat, order a beer, and wait for the police to move on.