ABOUT THE LEATHER EXCHANGE
Having served as a pub for almost 150 years, The Leather Exchange, (previously known as The Juggler’s Arms) forms part of the impressive ‘London Leather Hide & Wool Exchange’ built in 1878 (more history below).
The pub now boasts a nostalgic ambiance with carefully selected music from the '70s, '80s, and '90s. The Welsh landlord adds a unique touch, reflecting the pub's Welsh heritage through occasional dragon or sheep decorations. Whether it's cozy Sunday lunches by the fireplace or special event requests, the pub aims to create extraordinary experiences for all occasions. Reservations are recommended, but you can always drop-in to see what is available. Our friendly staff look forward to welcoming you.
The best way to book with us is by completing the enquiry form on the HOME + SPORTS pages. If you have a query that doesn't involve a booking, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE HISTORY OF THE LOCAL AREA
Although Bermondsey's earliest written appearance is in the Domesday Book of 1086, its earliest reference is in a transcription of a letter of Pope Constantine (708–715), in which he grants privileges to a monastery at 'Vermundesei', the site of which appears to have become the now demolished Bermondsey Abbey (located in today's Bermondsey Square).
The monks cultivated the surrounding land and embanked the riverside, turning the adjacent tidal inlet at the mouth of the River Neckinger into the priory's dock (St. Saviour's Dock after their abbey.) This provided a safe landing for Church dignitaries and goods below the traditional first land crossing, the congested stone arches of London Bridge.
Having been banished from within the city walls owing to the accrid smells associated with its production, the leather trade began to develop in the area, with references first made to it in the 1300's.
There had been 'skin markets' at Bankside, but this and the dealing activities at Leadenhall had been outgrown and so in 1832-33 the principal tanners of Bermondsey erected under their control the Leathermarket on Weston Street.
This combined trading and warehousing in one location near the major tanneries proved beneficial to them all and they raised between them some £50,000 for this purpose as a proprietorial holding. The building was of two rows with a central courtyard incorporating some older warehouses. Behind them, was the trading area which was a covered yet otherwise open terrace, in a U shape, allowing the traders to keep dry but allowing fresh air to circulate over their wares. The tanners, curriers and leathersellers came together in the fifty ‘bays’ or sales stalls to trade their skins and hides (this part of the market was destroyed during the Blitz of 1941.)
In 1878, George Elkington and Sons. constructed the grand ‘London Leather Hide & Wool Exchange’ next to it, which included a pub, now known as the Leather Exchange. The main exchange closed in 1912, with the building now used as offices.