The History of the Mermaid Inn
1156 to the present day
The Mermaid is unquestionably the most beautiful of all smugglers’ inns and undoubtedly one of the loveliest of all the inns in England. It stands in Mermaid Street, for which thoroughfare it is claimed - and justly claimed - that no other street in the world exhibits such a wealth of antiquity; and of this antiquity the best specimen is the Mermaid Tavern.
From “Romantic Old Inns” by Leonard P Thompson
If you wake at midnight, and hear a horse’s feet,
Don’t go drawing back the blind, or looking in the street,
Them that asks no questions isn’t told a lie
Watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by!
Trotting through the dark -
Brandy for the Parson
‘Baccy’ for the Clerk;
Laces for a lady; letters for a spy
And watch the wall, my darling, while the Gentlemen go by.