A new one on our Pub tour route but a Hampstead classic, the Duke of Hamilton has been in business since 1721. It takes its name from the 4th Duke of Hamilton who was killed fighting a duel with his cousin Baron Mohun over who should inherit their uncles valuable Scottish estate.
The Dukes death caused such a scandal at the time that it lead to a ban on duelling as a means to settle disputes. Apparently up until that point it if some one got on your nerves it was relatively common to throw down your sword and challenge them to fight for their honour - As you do!
(However most duels were only fought until one contestant drew blood not with the intention of killing.)
In more recent history the pub made a name for itself as a favourite haunt of legendary hard drinking actors Richard Burton, Oliver reed and Peter O Toole. It also made the headlines in 2015 when 800 local residents petitioned for the pub to be made an Asset of community value - meaning that the building would have to remain a pub
You would have thought the (Then landlord) Steve Coxshall would have been delighted however this was not the case, instead he denounced them as ...'Cardigan wearing busy bodies'... and banned all 800 of them from entering the pub - his reasoning? It would make the pub harder to sell. I don't know if Mr Coxshall did find the pub hard to sell when he left in 2017, but I have to say since the pub reopened last year (After being taken over by two brothers Ed and Ben Robson who formerly ran the Horseshoe - another NW3 local.) The place has been given a much needed make over, and the Duke of Hamilton is now an excellent little pub with great selection of craft beers, and a mouth watering seasonal menu They also have live jazz in their basement venue every weekend - Whats not to like!
If you live in the area or your visiting Hampstead for whatever reason you really must check it out. For more info you can check their website here https://thedukeofhamiltonnw3.com/
We will also be dropping in on our Halloween pub tour which is running until November 3rd, for more info click HERE
Interesting bits of London history and news of our tours and events