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Robin Hood (Leytonstone)

Locality
Coordinates 51.568055555556, 0.011111111111111
Adm. div. Essex, now Greater London
Vicinity Corner of High Road and Harvey Road, Leytonstone
Type Public house
Interest Robin Hood name
Status Defunct
First Record 1670
A.k.a. Red Lion; Old Red Lion; Red Lion – Cuba Bella; Zulus; Luther's
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The Red Lion, at the site of the Robin Hood.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-02-22. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-17.

The Robin Hood on the High Road in Leytonstone existed at least as early as 1670. The pub was named the Red Lion by 1766. It was rebuilt in 1891.[1]

The first record of the Robin Hood in Leytonstone is an entry in the register of the parish of Leyton noting the death of "Widow Unwin of the Robin Hood Leytonstone Feb 24", 1670.[2] "John Unwin at Laytonstone" issued an octagonal halfpenny token which on its reverse has an archer shooting a stag. See the page on the Token of John Unwin of Leytonstone. No doubt this John Unwin was the proprietor of the Robin Hood. The token has been dated 1670, but I am not sure on what grounds. Perhaps it was simply because the pub was known from the entry in the parish register to be in existence by that time.[3] However, the husband of "Widow Unwin" would obviously have died some time before 1670 for her to be styled thus. John Unwin could of course have been her son, but that a son should have taken over business seems unlikely in view of an entry in the parish register noting the burial on 4 Feb. 1677 of "Robert Chalice Ostler at the Robin Hood"[4] Most likely, therefore, John Unwin had been the husband of "Widow Unwin" and had died several years before her death in 1670. The token tells us that the pub must already then have been known as the Robin Hood. In 1733, when a vestry meeting was held at the pub, it was still named Robin Hood. However, its name had been changed to the Red Lion by 1766 when it appears under that name in a list of public houses rated for the poor in the parish of Leyton.[5]

During the 1980s the Red Lion was renamed Luther's.[6] By 2001 it had become the Red Lion – Cuba Bella, a Salsa Bar. After a change of owners in 2002 its name was changed to Zulu’s, a late night pub catering to the area’s growing South African population. The pub closed in January 2010[7] but reopened in 2011 as (again) the Red Lion.[8]

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