The historical pub in Oxford that was supporting students closes

3. 3. 2021 | News

pub closed due to coronavirusThe traditional pub The Lamb & Flag in Oxford that was being visited by students, locals and travellers after more than four centuries closes due to coronavirus. Besides its historical atmosphere, a wide variety of ale and quality cider for purchase, the pub also provided financial help to students. From its profits, the pub supported the most talented students from St. John College that’s part of Oxford University. This college also runs the pub and the pub’s name refers to it; The Lamb & Flag are both the attributes of St. John.

Fortunately, students won’t lose their scholarships as they’ll be provided by St. John College directly. Still, according to the college treasurer Steve Elston, it’s not possible to support the pub in its financial crisis: “The college as a charity is not allowed to financially support a loss-making business that is not part of its core charitable objectives.” However, the pub will remain in the college’s ownership: “The focus now is to work to look beyond the present situation and ensure the pub’s long-term future is secured,” said Elston for Oxford Mail.

“It is devastating to hear that the Lamb & Flag may never reopen and we will fight hard to keep it as a pub for residents and students so that they can drink there for years to come,” said Dave Richardson, a member of Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). Its regular customers are also worried about the pub’s bankruptcy. “Darn shame love that pub, been going for years. Let’s hope it won’t be student accommodation but bet it will be. Mind you if they keep closing the pubs the students won’t have any where to drink so might stop coming to Oxford University!” warned in comments below the original article at Oxford Mail the user nicknamed Tedwallyanttoo.

The pub has a long tradition. It started in 1566 and has been at its current address since 1613. During its existence, the pub hosted several significant people such as the writer Thomas Hardy, the American president Bill Clinton, and C.S. Lewis, the creator of Narnia. And maybe it was in the Lamb & Flag where Lewis looked at a company of men with pipes, asking them this famous sentence: “Isn’t anybody here who would read something for us?” Those men belonged to the literary group The Inklings whose member was also Lewis’s friend J. R. R. Tolkien.

Sources:, Oxford mail,, H. Carpenter: J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography. London, 2016.

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