Tour Locations | Historical Pubs of London: A Tipply Trundle Through Liquid History
Ede & Ravenscroft
“Order! Order in the court!”
It looks like it’s time for a little window shopping at London's oldest tailors. The historic Ede & Ravenscroft dates back to 1689 and you might be lucky enough to see a fine selection of their white horse hair wigs in the window.
These wigs were their historic innovation, and perfected for use by the lawyers to use in the highest courts in the land. The judge wears the largest wig, of course becoming known as a "big wig" and the central indentation in the wig remembers the days when on occasion they would wear a black cap. Not what you wanted to see as the defendant, for you were soon about to receive the death penalty.
And just look at those luxurious black robes, woven from silk giving barristers their nickname as "silks" to this day. Legend states that the robes are black in colour as the legal profession is still mourning the death of King Charles II in 1685, and are yet to revert back to their more colourful robes. This sombre attire is worn in the courts around us and helps to preserve the air of gravitas and anonymity required to provide as fair a trial as possible.
Glance up at the shop sign and you'll notice that Ede & Ravenscroft were robemakers before they were tailors. In addition to producing graduation gowns they also create the coronation robes for every new monarch. So perhaps we might see Charles or William heading this way soon?
And of course it's a shop without prices, so if you have to ask, you probably can't afford.
Let's head back the way we came and turn right onto Carey Street, heading along behind the Royal Courts of Justice where you'll stumble across our next pub.