|Venue : The Old Bell, 95 Fleet Street, City of London. EC4Y 1DH|
|Reviewed : December 2007||Telephone : 020 7494 0953|
|Pub Website : ~|
|Facilities : Pub food|
You can gain access to this tranditional english pub from either Fleet Street or St. Brides Avenue opposite the church. The Fleet Street entrance has a delightful facade of 'Ye Old Bell Tavern Wines & Spirits' in coloured tiles and the St. Brides entrance stands agreeable with the churchyard.
The building was originally built for Sir Christopher Wren in about 1670 to cater for the workmen rebuilding St. Bride's church (1670-1684). The Old Bell has been given many titles, including, The Swan, Twelve Bells & Golden Bell, it was 'at the signe of the Swan in Fletestrete' that Wynkyn de Worde, the first English printer after Caxton, issued some of his books. This house can thus truthfully be said to have a long association with printing trade that made Fleet Street so famous.
Opposite The Old Bell stood another Fleet Street tavern, The Castle, on the south-west corner of Shoe Lane. In 1708 it was reported as having the largest sign in London. In 1718 abitger sign in near-by Bride Lane pulled down the frontage of a complete building by its sheer weight and killed four pedestrians.