Royal Hotel Tap

Located at the back of the Royal Hotel, just off Lockyer Street, at the eastern end of Athenaeum Place, was, throughout most of nineteenth century, the Royal Hotel Tap. Given that the Hotel itself was gutted during the war and soon afterwards demolished, along with that whole section of Athenaeum Place, it is difficult now to describe it any great detail, but traditionally the ‘tap’ room of a hotel was a downmarket version of the saloon or lounge bar. While the one would have carpets on the floor, cushions on the seats and a penny or two on the prices, the tap room (which tended to become synonymous with a public bar), would have bare floorboards (perhaps lightly coated with sawdust to soak up spit), hard seats and cheap beer.

Buried today beneath the south-eastern corner of the modern Theatre Royal car park, it’s hard now to image the amount of greenery that was then in the immediate neighbourhood of Athenaeum Place and the Crescent.


1850 - George Lee
1852 - John Lee
1857 - Harriet Lee
1862 - Nicholas Were
1864 - Samuel Brighton
1880 - W Reeves
1888 - J Crocker