Spaniards Road, Hampstead, London, Greater London, Barnet
A famous pub on Hampstead Heath, it is one of London’s oldest. However, the origins of the name are uncertain. It could be it was the residence of the Spanish Ambassador to the court of King James; it was run by two Spanish brothers and used as the Spanish Embassy. Lilleywhite, in London Signs, maintains the building is from 1700, which would preclude some of these suggestions. A tollgate dates from at this spot in 1585, as the Spaniards, with the house opposite, forms a pinch-point in the road. The Spaniards has earned itself a place in the history books, quite literally. Dickens immortalised it in The Pickwick Papers, with Reports claim it that Keats wrote Ode to a Nightingale here. Inside it is quaint, with oak panelling throughout. Very close by was a tree from which highwaymen and other outlaws were hanged. This tree has now gone. However, could explain some of the ghosts seen in the inn. Bram Stoker ‘borrowed’ one of their ghosts to finish off the plot for Dracula. Over the years, there have been accounts of men dressed in black flitting around the Spaniards, with other apparitions weeping. A woman customer took her dog into one of the bars, which kept taking bites out of something, or someone, invisible and snarling in a savage manner.