The Goose and Gridiron, 8 London House Yard – the exact location
A big shout out to my old mate, Florida based Freemason George Brooks, who took this on as a nice little project, downloading maps and tracing the history of the legendary Goose and Gridiron. The Goose and Gridiron is famous to Freemasons all over the world for being the location of the first meeting of the first ever Grand Lodge on the 24th June 1717, when the four London lodges came together. The building has long since gone, though it still existed during the Victorian period, and there is a rare photograph of the pub from around 1890. The building was nestled in a ‘court yard’ and was known as 8 London House Yard, the ‘court yard’ being to ‘the north side, at the west end’ of St. Paul’s Cathedral. The area around St. Paul’s was bombed during World War II, so the surrounding area has changed dramatically during the last century.
A pub can be traced there before the Great Fire of London in 1666, which was called the Mitre, and it was associated with musicians, with concerts taking place and parties. After the fire, a new pub was built, but, as the story goes, instead of using the arms of the company of musicians, which was the Swan and Lyre, the new owners decided to mock the image by using the Goose and Gridiron.
Today, the site is occupied by Juxton House, and for those keen to see the exact spot, the former opening of London House Yard would have been approximately halfway between the steps of the west front of St. Paul’s and the statue of Queen Anne.