Jerusalem Tavern, EC1M 5NA

The Jerusalem Tavern in Clerkenwell, London is named after the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem, founded in 1140, of which St. John’s Gate is the most prominent remnant. The village of Clerkenwell grew up around the Priory and the Jerusalem Tavern can be traced back at least to the 14th Century. It has occupied several sites in the area over the centuries and the current building was developed in 1719-20 by Simon Michell and was originally a merchant’s house and then a workshop for various watch and clock craftsmen (eg. escapement-makers, fusee-cutters, finishers, etc.). The current shop front was added around 1810. The tavern has close links with Samuel Johnson, William Hogarth, Oliver Goldsmith, David Garrick and with the young Handel on his visits to London. It even influenced the English language of the day - locally, quart bottles were know as Jerusalems.

(Taken from

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Historical Notes

Although there was previously some other tavern in the area called the Jerusalem, the current establishment actually dates only to around 1996. The brewery's description above cleverly doesn't contradict this.


St Peter's cask and bottled beers. The bottles are all �2.80 each (for 500ml), and a pint of one of the cask beers is �2.50 or �2.60. They have six cask beers on at a time. The times I've been here (early 2002), the cask beers included elderberry ale, and the bottles included lemon and ginger, grapefruit, and cinnamon and apple. [Prices at Feb 2006]


Pretty decent. They have a proper chef who makes it (lunchtimes only, no evenings) and the food has a good reputation with regulars.

Kettle Chips have now been replaced by some other brand of crisps because (according to Steve, the manager) the new Kettle Chips boxes are the wrong proportions to stack in the cellar!

Service and Ambience

This is one of those City pubs that's completely empty before 5:30pm, then between 6pm and 7pm the entire world arrives. The clientele in the evenings at least is fairly suit-dominated, but generally the slightly older and less laddish kinds of suit-wearers. Even when very crowded, the atmosphere is still pleasant.


Small, with little nooks. There's a kind of balcony thing with one table on it, opposite the bar. Smaller tables at the front of the pub and a large one at the back, past the bar. Very wooden and nook-and-cranny-ish, in general.


The toilets are downstairs. I think I remember the ladies' as being nice and clean, with real taps.

Other Reviews

(Latitude: 51.521319 Longitude: -0.102416)
Last edited 2006-02-19 18:34:23 (version 13; diff). List all versions.