Jamaica Wine House

Greater London Central - London

A historic pub interior of regional importance

Listed Status: II

St Michaels Alley - Cornhill
London, Gracechurch Street
EC3V 9DS

Tel: (020) 7929 6972

Email: jamaicawinehouse@shepherd-neame.co.uk

Website https://www.jamaicawinehouse.co.uk/

Real Ale: Yes

Lunchtime Meals: Yes

Evening Meals: Yes

Nearby Station: Cannon Street

Station Distance: 400m

Public Transport: Near Railway Station (Cannon Street) and Bus Stop

Bus: Yes

View on: Whatpub

An unusual pub up an alleyway beside St Michael’s church – look out for the massive, iron-bracketed lantern with the pub’s name. It was rebuilt in 1885 to designs by architect Banister Fletcher when it was a coffee house. The rectangular space is divided into four by three mahogany screens set at right angles to the counter. Originally there was no link between the two left-hand and two right-hand compartments. The two parts have completely different ceiling treatments: that on the left, unusually, has panels of ceramic or enamelled metal. The counter is original but altered on the right-hand. The bar-back and seating are modern.

Known colloquially as the Jam Pot this tucked-away pub is generally busy with local City workers at lunchtimes and early evening. It lies up a short alleyway off Cornhill beside St Michael’s church – look out for the massive, iron-bracketed lantern with the pub’s name. The pub is part of a red brick and sandstone block rebuilt in 1885 to designs by architect Banister Fletcher (don’t fall for the ‘Built 1652’ notices!).

There is an intriguing layout, which is not known to survive anywhere else. The rectangular space is divided up into four by three screens set at right angles to the counter. Originally there would have been no link between the two left-hand and the two right-hand compartments. The distinction between the two parts is emphasised by completely different ceiling treatments: that on the left, unusually, has panels of ceramic or enamelled metal. It is almost as though the pub was built in two stages but there is no evidence of this in the fabric of the building. The screens themselves are fine pieces of mahogany woodwork, decorated with square panels and some glazed parts. The counter is original but has been altered in the right-hand area. The bar-back and seating are modern.

There is a plain cellar bar, used for dining. History on the spot: This was the site of England’s first coffee house, established by a Turk, Pasqua Rosee, and in existence by 1654. Coffee houses played an important part in the social and business lives of the country’s better-off urban population in the 18th century. This one became the Jamaica Coffee House in 1674, changing into a wine house in 1869.

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