The Mermaid Tavern (now Mermaid Fabrics)
Photo by Ewan Munro
Mermaid Fabrics in Hackney central recently had it’s former sign showing through (I have a photo somewhere, I just need to find it)
The building used to be The Mermaid Tavern, which had a bowling green, pleasure gardens and freak shows and was a haunt of Samuel Pepys.
Pepys liked nothing more than to hail a coach at Aldgate, sit back and zoom ‘away into the fields to take the air’ in Hackney, ‘which I every day grow more and more in love with’.
Amazing illustration “Prime Bang up at Hackney or a Peep at the Balloon” was of a balloon trip to mark the birthday of George, Prince of Wales on 12 August 181. The trip started from the gardens of the Mermaid Tavern and you can see St Augustine’s tower in the background.
The original Mermaid Inn stood on the opposite side of Mare Street. It closed and was demolished in around 1845, with the replacement and much smaller pub built opposite. By 1895 this location was serving as the headquarters of the Clapton Orient Football Club, predecessors of today’s Leyton Orient FC
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