Built in 1869, this Tavern was named after the Holborn Viaduct. The tavern, with its beautiful and ornade interior, is a typical Victorian “gin palace”.
The Tavern is widely reputed to be haunted. There have been reports of strange occurrences in the main bar, in which glasses mysteriously getbroken, and drinks either completely disappear or are suddenly moved. Also, it is said that the ghost of a murdered prostitude haunts the ladies toilet, watch out for the lights in the toilet fading suddenly and then going on and off at speed. More ghostly activity is said ti be found in the cellars of the Tavern.
Before the tavern was built, part of the Giltspur Street Compter stood on this site. This was a prison, controlled by sheriffs, which was used mainly for holding debtos (in that time, people were sent to prison for being in debt) – THANK GOD NOT ANYMORE – and other offenders, but also for vagrants and people arrested at night (as watch houses were not allowed to keep prisoners). Some of the original cells from the Giltspur Street Compter can still be found in the basement of the tavern today. The cells are now used for storage, but at one time, they would hold up to sixteen prisioners at a time.
The unfortunate prisioners would beg for food and water through the ventilation grills in the pavement outside. It is in the cellar, where these old prison cells survive, that there have been several reports of a poltergeist (a noisy and aften mischievous spirit). If you would like to see the old cells and are not too afraid of encountering “Fred” (as the poltergeist is known) a member of staff will usully offer to take you down into the ancient cellar and give you a small tour. But please, do not ask if they are busy.