The Oliver Conquest, 70 Leman Street

Early 19thC public house, formerly Mr Pickwick's and the Garrick Tavern

Some notes on the Oliver Conquest
Contributed by stephen.r.harris on Jan. 10, 2017

This pub was established as the Garrick Tavern, most likely in 1831 at the same time as the Garrick Theatre, of which it was essentially a part.  The first known licensees were John Norris and Edward Higley, the dissolution of whose partnership was announced in the London Gazette of 30 August 1831.

Perhaps the best known manager of the Garrick Theatre was the impresario Benjamin Oliver Conquest, and he also held the licence of the Garrick Tavern from at least 1833 until 1843 when he moved to the Eagle on City Road. Meanwhile, the Garrick Tavern continued to be associated with the theatre until the latter's closure around 1881 and may have been rebuilt, along with the theatre itself, after a disastrous fire in 1846.

In 1891 Leman Street Police Station was built on the site of the former theatre, but the Garrick Tavern survived next door.  Also in 1891, the pub was leased by West & Co., brewers of Hackney Road.  The ownership later passed to Truman's of Brick Lane.

By the early 1980s the pub had been relaunched as Mr Pickwick's, with a Dickensian theme to the décor.  In the 1990s and 2000s, by now Grade II- listed, the pub changed hands at least twice.  It first passed from Grand Met to the Thorley Taverns pub chain around 1997 and was later owned by the Enterprise pub chain, before the licence was revoked by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 2010 and the pub closed.

But there was life in the old pub yet and it re-opened in October 2010, refurbished and now under the name Oliver Conquest in honour of its most famous former landlord.

Elevation, March 2018
Contributed by Derek Kendall