The Old Queens Head – A History!

OIW have been running our supercool night since early 2008, there’s been other venues over that time (Madame Jo Jo’s, The Enterprise, The Garage) but The Old Queens Head has always been our home and we’re damn proud to be a part of things there.

We’ve had some amazing, amazing acts and even the odd celeb in the crowd, including Morrissey, Mischa Barton, Luke Pritchard, and half the cast of Neighbours amongst others. So ahead of our next night on September 8th with Mr David Viner, I Said Yes and This Frontier Needs Heroes (details HERE) we thought we’d give you a bit of history, including Sir Walter Raleigh, ghost stories and “secret canoodling”. Yep, here’s a short history of The OQH!


The Old Queens Head has stood proud in its spot on the Essex Road for centuries. In its current incarnation the pub plays host to world class bands and DJs, however in its long history it’s rumoured to have been owned by none other than Sir Walter Raleigh. Some sources say that he may well have lived at the pub. It is also rumoured that Queen Elizabeth the 1st granted Sir Walter the licence to the pub and it is said by the gossips of this world that it was also the venue for the two highest society figures to do some secret canoodling…

A long history of a grand building would not right without a ghost story and naturally The Old Queens Head has a few. The most notable being one of a woman and a small girl. Various people have reported the pitter – patter of feet in an ’empty’ pub, seen her running ahead of people up the stairs, slamming doors and she has even been heard crying. One of the most notable features of The Old Queens Head is the beautiful downstairs fireplace. It dates back to the 17th century and is the oldest of its kind in North London. With a spectacular and master crafted stone engraving the open log fire has warmed the chilly hoards of people for centuries and still does its job very well for us in the winter months!

So there you go, a pretty interesting history of the home of OIW so you can act all knowledgeable the next time you’re at OIW and impress that girl you’ve always longed after ; ) See you on the 8th!


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