The Tipperary in Fleet Street used to be called The Boar’s Head. It was built in 1605 with stones taken from the Whitefriars Monastery, stones that allowed it to survive unharmed in the raging inferno of the Great Fire of London. The Tipperary claims to be the first Irish pub outside Ireland and the first to sell Guinness in England. The claim to the title is explained by Mooney’s Brewery of Dublin buying a 17th century pub called the Boar’s Head in 1700, it having survived the Great Fire of 1666.
This is an historic site, first occupied by a 13th century White Friars monastery, then a 16th century tavern at the sign of the ‘Bolt-in-Tun’, later to be a busy coaching inn. The ‘Boar’s Head’ name was adopted in 1883 or 1605 depending on what you read.
Either way the original pub was demolished and rebuilt in the late 19th century by Mooney’s. Today’s pub is essentially late Victorian with some fine features with a strong Irish theme, not to be confused with the 20th century pastiches.
Although the frontage has been changed the interior has been preserved and was ‘refitted’ by Greene King who bought it in the 1960’s. There are two brilliant glass panels advertising Irish whiskies and stout, surrounded by dark panelling with carved insets and a smart stone mosaic floor. It’s small – very small – but rather lovely, and has very friendly staff.