Originally posted on londonerculture.
For many Arsenal supporters the Highbury Barn Tavern is a place to have a drink or meal before and after a match and to soak up the atmosphere before they stroll to the stadium, but did you know this was one of the most popular and talked about establishments throughout London in the 1800s.
Highbury Barn started life as a small ale and cake house in 1840, during these times Londoners flocked to drink milk that was still warm from the cow, and to eat cakes dipped in cream, custards plus many other dairy dishes. Highbury Barn grew into a tavern with tea-gardens and as trade increased the barn was extended and fitted out to the highest standard.
The enterprising owners added a hop plantation and brewery and added a bowling green with trap and ball ( a very old game played in England since the Middle Ages) grounds to compliment the tea gardens. It became widely known as a hub for public dinners for corporate bodies, public charities, clubs, and many other societies and could justly boast that this magnificent location was one of the most popular venues for food and entertainment anywhere in London or its environs. It is hard to imagine today but over 1,500 guests could be accommodated at this hostelry with 800 people at any one time sitting down to a hot dinner and where you had the sight of seventy geese roasting on the one fire.
Highbury Barn was the scene of many festive celebrations and became renowned for its public entertainment with a hotel, public gardens, and a regularly licensed theatre along with a sumptuous…