London Apprentice - History
The London Apprentice dates back to Tudor times, although it was rebuilt during the first half of the eighteenth century. The first recorded license dates back to 1731 and until 1739, it was kept open all night for the benefit of travellers on the Thames .
It is said to have been patronised by such eminent personalities as Henry VIII, Charles I, Charles II (with Nell Gwynne), Lady Jane Grey and Oliver Cromwell, all of whom had close links with nearby Syon House.
It is uncertain whether the London Apprentice owes its name to the apprentice lads of the various livery companies of London who would row out to Isleworth in gaily decked barges during their free time, or to the famous ballad ‘The honour of an Apprentice of London '.
The Inn was also a popular haunt of highwaymen from Hounslow Heath, most notably the infamous Dick Turpin.
A tunnel linking All Saint's Church with the London Apprentice is believed to have been used by Thames smugglers to pass their contraband from the vaults of the church to the cellars of the Inn .
Today you can still see some fine historical features including a mural panel recording a bell ringing competition in 1848 and a pair of plaster ceiling reliefs which are over 300 years old.
For more information on the history of Old Isleworth it is well worth looking at the website for the Isleworth Society - Click Here