This intriguing cellar-cum-dungeon bar was first brought to my attention when my friend Rupert moved to Craven Terrace.
“There’s this amazing craft beer and cocktail bar opening beneath the pub on my road. You’ve got to come and check it out when it opens”.
A week later I met Rupert and ventured down an exterior stairwell into Old Mary’s.
To our delight the place had an incredibly eerie air to it. The walls were jagged and worn like a dilapidated castle and the dim light emanating from each candle lantern lent the cavern a mysterious ambience.
We walked through the small corridor area peering into each room. One was decorated with spooky glass receptacles claiming to contain ‘ARSENIC POISON’. Another had an oversized antique oven with an ominous ever-whirring fan. It felt like a miniature version of the London Dungeons.
“What would you like to drink?” asked the barman.
Rupert and I both ordered pints of Meantime Pale Ale. They were served in frosted goblets and it wasn’t long before we were back at the bar for refills.
A few hours later we were drinking fiery Bloody Marys after hearing the tragic tale of how Old Mary’s got its name.
Apparently, many years ago, a young maid who worked in the kitchens started an affair with Lord Craven. They planned to run away together. But when Craven’s wife found out she took matters into her own hands. Mary was found dead in the Scullery with a knife through her heart.