The George Inn has been a public house since the Middle Ages. While the building itself was destroyed and rebuilt, and obviously the owners changed over the ages, the George Inn still serves a good pint of ale.
The first map of Southwark (Duchy of Lancaster ca 1543) clearly shows it marked as “Gorge”. It was formerly known as the George and Dragon, named for the legend of Saint George and the Dragon.
In 1676, the George was rebuilt after a serious fire that destroyed most of mediaeval Southwark. There had been many such inns in this part of London. Probably the most famous was The Tabard where, in 1388, Chaucer began “The Canterbury Tales”. The Tabard was also rebuilt after the same fire, but was demolished in the late 19th century and today George Inn is the only surviving galleried London coaching inn.
William Shakespeare was one of George’s visitors as the Globe Theatre was a short distance away. Another notable patron was Charles Dickens who visited the George and referred to it in his “Little Dorrit”.