72 F
HomeColumnsGreat London BuildingsGreat London Buildings: The George Inn in Southwark

Great London Buildings: The George Inn in Southwark

London Forecast

scattered clouds
72 ° F
74.2 °
67.9 °
41 %
29 %
71 °
69 °
71 °
70 °
69 °
USD - United States Dollar

Popular London Tours


The Tube: 10 Interesting Facts about the Circle Line

The Circle Line is one of London’s oldest Tube...

Great London Buildings: Fortnum & Mason

The iconic Fortnum & Mason building on Piccadilly is...

Londinium: 10 Interesting Facts and Figures about Roman London

  Londinium was the Roman name given to the settlement...

Ruins of London’s Past: 10 Ruins You Can Visit in London

London, a city steeped in history, is home to...


The George Inn – Southwark – London” by nick.garrod is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The George Inn, nestled in the heart of Southwark, London, stands as a remarkable testament to the city’s rich architectural heritage and its enduring connection to the past. This historic public house, dating back to the 17th century, boasts a captivating story that intertwines with the very fabric of London’s evolution.

The Origins: A Galleried Inn of the 17th Century

The George Inn’s origins can be traced back to 1676, when it was first established as a galleried coaching inn. This architectural style, characterized by an open courtyard surrounded by multi-story galleries or balconies, was a common sight in London during that era. These inns provided lodging, refreshments, and stabling for travelers and their horses, serving as vital hubs along the bustling trade routes.

The original George Inn was constructed on the site of a former monastery, the Priory of St. Mary Overie, which had been dissolved during the reign of Henry VIII. The inn’s location in Southwark was strategic, as it stood along the main road leading to the London Bridge, making it a prime stopover point for those entering or leaving the city.

The Architectural Masterpiece

Today, The George Inn stands as one of the few remaining galleried coaching inns in London. Its architectural grandeur is evident in the inn’s distinctive features, which have been meticulously preserved over the centuries.

The inn’s central courtyard, once a bustling hub for travelers and their horses, is now a tranquil oasis surrounded by the iconic wooden galleries. These galleries, supported by ornate wooden pillars and adorned with intricate carvings, provide a glimpse into the craftsmanship and attention to detail that defined the inn’s construction.

One of the most striking elements of The George Inn is its remarkable timber-framed structure. The exposed beams and timbers, darkened by age and smoke, create a warm and inviting atmosphere, transporting visitors back in time to the inn’s heyday. The building’s leaded windows and shutters further enhance the sense of historical authenticity, while the tiled roofs and chimneys add to the picturesque charm of the inn’s exterior.

Resilience and Restoration

Over the centuries, The George Inn has weathered numerous challenges, from fires to societal changes that threatened its existence. In the 19th century, as the coaching trade declined and the area around the inn became increasingly industrialized, the future of this architectural gem seemed uncertain.

However, in the early 20th century, a concerted effort was made to preserve and restore The George Inn. In 1937, the London County Council acquired the property, recognizing its historical significance and architectural value. Extensive restoration work was undertaken, ensuring that the inn’s original features were carefully preserved while accommodating modern amenities.

Today, The George Inn stands as a living museum owned by the National Trust, offering visitors a glimpse into the rich history of London’s coaching inns and the architectural styles that defined that era. Still a working pub, the inn’s timeless charm and historical significance have made it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike, serving as a reminder of the city’s resilience and its ability to preserve its heritage amidst the relentless march of progress.

A Living Legacy

Beyond its architectural splendor, The George Inn has played a pivotal role in shaping the cultural and social fabric of Southwark and London. Throughout its existence, the inn has served as a gathering place for locals, a hub for storytelling, and a venue for traditional entertainment, such as theater performances and music.

Today, The George Inn continues to embrace its legacy, hosting a variety of events and activities that celebrate the rich history and culture of the area. From traditional pub nights to historical reenactments and guided tours, the inn offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in the vibrant tapestry of London’s past. It is now owned and managed by the National Trust, preserving it forever. And anyone who has visited, knows that it is more popular than ever!

Check out the website for opening times and reservations.

Author: jonathan

Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia.net in 2007 to channel his passion for Britain. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London.

Book London Tours Now!


  1. Of course The George survived the Great Fire of London — (1) it wasn’t built yet, and (2) The Fire never crossed the Thames. The George was built after Southwark was decimated by its own fire in 1676.
    My guess is that there must have been an older Inn, possibly also called The George, on the site. But I don’t know about that.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here