The Eagle and Child is a
pub in St
Giles', Oxford, England which is
owned by St. John's College, Oxford. The pub had been part of an endowment
belonging to University College since the 17th century.
The Eagle and Child.
It has associations
with the Inklings
writers' group which
included J. R. R.
and C. S. Lewis
A small, narrow building, the pub reputedly served as the lodgings
of the Chancellor of the
during the English Civil
(1642–49), when Oxford was the Royalist
capital. The landmark served as a pay
house for the Royalist army, and pony auctions were held in the
rear courtyard. These claims are inconsistent with the earliest
date usually given for construction of the pub, 1650, and the fact
that the pub lies outside the city walls may also give some cause
had been part of an endowment belonging to University
College since the 17th century.
The college placed
it on the market for £1.2 million in December 2003, saying that it
needed to rebalance its property portfolio. It was bought by the
nearby St John's
College, who also own the Lamb and Flag pub opposite.
The Rabbit Room contains mementos of
was an Oxford writers' group
which included J. R. R.
and C. S. Lewis
. From 1939 to 1962 they met at the Eagle
and Child Friday before lunch, to drink and talk, usually in an
area at the back of the pub, which was then a private sitting room
and is now known as the Rabbit Room. Contrary to popular impression
(and also contrary to the plaque posted in the pub), the Inklings
did not read their manuscripts to each other in the pub: these
readings took place at evening meetings usually in Lewis's college
Inklings changed allegiance in 1962 by moving across St Giles' to
the Lamb &
Flag pub, but it is the Eagle and Child's Rabbit Room
that attracts visitors.
More recently, the pub was the regular watering hole of Colin Dexter
, who created Inspector Morse
The pub's sign shows an eagle
carrying a small
child in a fold of cloth suspended from a claw, which was derived
from the crest of the Earl of Derby
The image is said to refer to a story of a noble-born baby having
been found in an eagle's nest.
It is also known as the Bird and Baby
. Other less common
nicknames have included the "Bird and Brat", the "Bird and
Bastard", the "Bustard and Bastard" and the "Fowl and