The ONE TUN - Established in 1759 and still going strong
The ONE TUN started trading on its present site as a licensed Alehouse in 1759, and has always traded under the same name. However it is not the original building as the pub was rebuilt in 1875 and the current building bares this date on its frontage accompanied by the initials A.E. The present pub is one of two remaining London Taverns to trade under the name of 'The ONE TUN', which refers to the largest cask used for beer and wine storage, with a capacity of four hogsheads or 252 gallons.
Saffron Hill in which the pub stands, derives its name from the crops of saffron that used to be grown there in the 18th Century.
The writer Charles Dickens was a patron of the ONE TUN between 1833 and 1838 when the pub had already been in existence for over half a century. In Dickens' book 'Oliver Twist', which was serialised and published in monthly instalments in 'The Bentley's Miscellany' from 1837, the ONE TUN was mentioned under the fictional name of 'The Three Cripples'. In fact the 'The Three Cripples' pub mentioned in the novel was a lodging house, and never did hold a licence to sell ale. Sited at 124 Saffron Hill it was next door to the ONE TUN. A well know Jewish fence called Ikey Solomons who frequented the area at that time was the model for the character of Fagin, and Mr Fang was modelled on the notorious Hatton Garden Magistrate, Allan Stuart Laing. Dickens, amongst others, attacked Laing for his severity, which lead to the Judge's dismissal from the bench in 1838.