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Mermaid Inn


Picture source: Stephen Harris

The Mermaid Inn was situated at 364 Mare Street. The Mermaid was probably the most famous of Hackney’s old pubs.  It had been present by 1636 and is probably the Hackney pub where Samuel Pepys came to play shuffleboard and eat cherries.  In the eighteenth century it was the location for local court proceedings and by the mid-eighteenth century had developed extensive pleasure gardens – the latter being the scene for some early balloon ascents.  The gardens and attached Assembly Rooms had proved very popular for jolly days out from London.  The old pub was demolished in 1845, as the area became increasingly urban, and a new, replacement, pub was built on the east side of Mare Street, across the road from the old place.  This became well known in its own right and by 1895 was serving as the headquarters of the Clapton Orient Football Club, predecessors of today’s Leyton Orient FC.  This pub survived until at least 1944, but is now closed and in retail use.

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Name Dates Comments
Joyce Burke   Looking for Halcyon Days enamelled box, with balloon ascending from the garden of the Mermaid Tavern.