Located at 39 Dartmouth Street – between St James’s Park and Parliament Square, this pub is understood to be the oldest in Westminster and dates from at least 1729.
The name is fair self-explanatory – it refers to the two men needed to carry a sedan chair which wealthy patrons would use for transportation about the city (and save their dainty feet from the muddiness of the streets). There’s a picture of two chairmen at work in the bar.
This pub, which was rebuilt in the mid-18th century, was apparently a hub where sedan chair carriers would wait for their next fare – its location opposite the Royal Cockpit Theatre, a cockfighting arena, meant it was well-suited for that purpose. There’s a suggestion that the cry used to attract carriers – ‘Chair ho!’ – is where the word of greeting ‘Cheerio’ came from.
Its proximity to the Houses of Parliament meant the Grade II-listed pub has also seen its fair share of politicians over the years.
Original features include the ornate fireplaces, oak beams and a mural on the back wall.
Now part of the Greene King chain. For more, follow this link.