Property spotlight: The Romford pub where even Shakespeare stopped for a pint

The Golden Lion pub in Romford dates back to the 15th century

The Golden Lion pub in Romford dates back to the 15th century - Credit: Ben Lynch

Sat on the High Street in the heart of Romford town centre, just down the road from the esteemed St Edward the Confessor church, is an old property recognisable to most locals; the Golden Lion pub. 

A Grade II listed building, the Golden Lion dates back to the 15th century. Perhaps its biggest claim to fame is its connection to Francis Bacon, a English philosopher in the 16th and 17th centuries who owned the pub for a time. 

It was while under his stewardship that the Golden Lion reportedly hosted another historical figure; a certain William Shakespeare, who apparently escaped to the pub after drawing the ire of Queen Elizabeth I. 

Famous names associated with the pub include former owner Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare

Famous names associated with the pub include former owner Francis Bacon and William Shakespeare - Credit: Ben Lynch

Given its heritage, it perhaps comes as some surprise that there were talks in the 1960s to knock down the Golden Lion in order to build a new road system, though these plans never came to fruition. 

It is today owned and run by the pub retailer and brewer chain Greene King, which purchased it in December 2020 for £4.48 million. 

Today, the Golden Lion is owned by the pub retailer and brewer Greene King

Today, the Golden Lion is owned by the pub retailer and brewer Greene King - Credit: Ben Lynch