Thursday 26 June 2008

The Upper Flask or the Lower Flask Pub?

Newly refurbished and much enhanced we have the Flask Pub in Hampstead -a good old fashioned boozer with a great mix of residents, passers by and deliberate visitors.

And with the refit and now with a new pub sign - there was lots of nervousness that it was about to become the new 'slug and lettice' (sic) - Ugh - happily it didn't!

It been's The Flask for some considerable time now and the name is a hint at the earlier tradition of the Hampstead spring water - mainly from the Chalybeate spring in Well Walk.

The pub was one of three pubs - the Upper Flask (now demolished), the Lower Flask (now The Flask) and the The Green[e] Man (now the Wells Tavern).

The Lower Flask is thought to date as early as the late 17th century but was probably in fact early 18th century. It is referred to in Samuel Richardson's novel Clarrissa (published in 1748) as "a place where second-rate persons are to be found, occasionally in a swinish condition"

The Lower Flask was re-built in 1872 - finished in 1874 when it became just The Flask. Upper Flask had gone in the late 18th century (more to follow on the Kit Cat Club!!) and stood where Queen Mary's hospital now stands. The Wells Tavern originally dates from at least 1751 and is possibly pre-dated and the current building from about 1850.

Flask Walk is one of the nicest little streets in London - if you don't know it then go there...

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