In 1835 the then 23 year-old budding writer Charles Dickens, wrote a sketch about a visit to The Eagle Tavern in London’s City Road. Twenty years later he would revisit the venue, which had by then grown to become one of the East Ends largest and most popular entertainment venues. In a four-part blog, we explore the rise of Eagle, how it rose to become one of the most popular entertainment places in the metropolis and how it ultimately fell to religious zealotry.
In the first part, we look at the period 1822 – 1831, during which an entrepreneurial builder, Thomas Rouse, took a former small tea room on London’s City Road and began a path that would see the establishment become one of the city’s most popular entertainment venues. Initially he used the extensive grounds to mount large public displays such as fighting and balloon ascents. By the end of decade he looked towards the changing shifts in Victorian working class culture for entertainment and built what would become one of the most famous Saloon Theatres in the East End.
Part 2: The Eagle Soars.
Part 3: The Grecian Conquests.