Royal Grecian Theatre

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The Eagle Tavern in 1841.

The Royal Grecian Theatre was a theatre on the corner of City Road and Shepherdess Walk, in Shoreditch, north London. Originally built in 1821 as the Eagle tavern, by 1832 a pavilion had been built in its grounds known as the Grecian Saloon. The saloon was rebuilt in 1841 and became a theatre proper. In 1851 Benjamin Conquest became proprietor. It became the Royal Grecian in 1858 after receiving a license.

The musical directorship of the Grecian changed hands in 1870, general musical director William Edroff died leaving his son Andrew to direct the bands in the ballroom and on the outdoor platform. Edward Barrett, however had been the leader of the theatre orchestra. Barrett's son Oscar took over music for the dramas and pantomimes in 1870.

Alterations in 1858 made it a 2500-seat theatre. In 1877 a new 4000 seat theatre was built on the site of the old ballroom.

In 1882 the buildings were put up for auction, and bought by the Salvation Army. The theatre was eventually demolished in 1900 and rebuilt as The Eagle pub, which is still extant at 2 Shepherdess Walk, London N1 7LB.[1]

The Eagle, City Road, Islington, London, displaying the nursery rhyme line about the pub's predecessor[1]

The nursery rhyme Pop Goes the Weasel refers to the old tavern:

Up and down the City road,
In and out the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop goes the weasel.


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°31′41.87″N 0°5′30.6″W / 51.5282972°N 0.091833°W / 51.5282972; -0.091833

  1. ^ a b "Pop Goes the Weasel". Nursery Rhymes Lyrics and Origins. Retrieved 23 July 2019.