Jack Straw's Castle
Situated in North End Way, opposite Heath House.
It is allegedly named after a leader of the 1381 Peasants' Revolt who lived on the hill where the pub was later built
In the early 1700s, the manor courts used to be held here.
Near Jack Straw’s Castle there was a “horse-course” on West Heath and the Hampstead races were popular in 1730s and 1740s, until prohibited by magistrates.
A favourite haunt of Charles Dickens, Karl Marx and Bram Stoker.
The old inn was damaged in the second world war in 1941 and was rebuilt in its present form in 1962.
Historically, there is an ale house of the same name recorded in 1713, but the inn is probably of Tudor origin.
The site is linked with the 1381 Peasants Revolt, led by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw.
It MAY be, however, that Jack Straw is just a generic name for countrymen and the "castle" may allude to an ancient fortress mound.
In the 1990s it was sold to property developers who turned it into luxury flats.
The author received an interesting email from Terry Allen:
"I worked on the building in the winter of 1963 which was one of the worst I can remember, it was freezing cold, but public transport did not let me down, I was then 23 years old and Three years out of my apprenticeship, we worked fitting the Bars and the match- board wall cladding, it was the only all wood building in London. I was surprised after retuning after all these years to find it closed,
( not to mention the exhaustion after climbing the hill).I was impressed by the pond refurbishment though.
The timber was all treated with a fire retardment called Albi which was probably toxic."
Terence Allen (Joiner)