The Pillars of Hercules is a historic pub located on Greek Street, in the heart of London’s West End. The pub has been a popular watering hole for locals and visitors alike for over two centuries, and has a rich and colourful history.
The origins of the Pillars of Hercules date back to 1733 when it was known as the “Hercules Pillars Tavern.” although most of its current structure was built around 1910. The pub was a popular destination for travellers and local residents, and was well-known for its fine wines and ales. The pub was named after the mythical Pillars of Hercules, which were said to mark the edge of the known world in ancient times.
The road beside the pub is named Manette Street runs alongside the pub, and it is named after Dr Manette, a character from the novel A Tale of Two Cities who is said to have lived near Soho Square.
In the 1960s, theatre designer Sean Kenny and his staff would often drink at the pub, as their design studio was only a few steps away from the pub’s back door.
Over the years, the Pillars of Hercules has played host to a number of famous figures, including writers, artists, and actors. In the 20th century, it became a popular destination for the literary crowd, and was frequented by the likes of Dylan Thomas, George Orwell, and Graham Greene. The pub has also been used as a location for several films, including “Quadrophenia” and “The Krays.”
Clive James even titled his second book of literary criticism, At the Pillars of Hercules, after the pub because it was where he commissioned, delivered, or wrote most of the pieces within it. Singer Nick Drake is also said to have frequented the pub during his time in London.
Despite its popularity, the Pillars of Hercules has managed to retain much of its original character and charm. The pub features a traditional bar and snug, as well as a spacious upstairs dining area. It also has an extensive selection of fine wines, real ales, and classic pub fare.
Today, the Pillars of Hercules remains a beloved institution in the heart of London’s West End. It is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, and continues to be an important cultural and historical landmark. Whether you are looking for a pint of ale, a tasty meal, or simply a glimpse into London’s rich history, the Pillars of Hercules is well worth a visit.
The area is also a great place to people-watch and soak up the atmosphere of London.