Victorian London - Publications - History - The Queen's London : a Pictorial and Descriptive Record of the Streets, Buildings, Parks and Scenery of the Great Metropolis, 1896 - The King's Head, Chigwell

The King's Head, Chigwell - photograph


Chigwell, my dear fellow, wrote Charles Dickens to John Forster, "is the greatest place in the world." The " King's Head," so called from the signboard on which is a portrait of Charles I., needs no description to those familiar with the great novelist's "Barnaby Rudge," for under the name of the "Maypole " Dickens has described it for all time with that wonderful power of minute detail of which he was master. The large room on the first floor is well-known as "John Chester's Chamber." But, in any case, this picturesque inn, with its gables, projecting storeys, wood and plaster front, and lattice windows, all bearing witness to its antiquity (it dates from the time of the Stuarts), would render it noticeable. The old church stands just opposite.