The pub dates to the late Victorian era, and was much frequented by artists and writers before the war, when it was known as "The Baby's Bottom", perhaps because it was once painted pink. It was originally a Taylor Walker brewery pub (the original company was founded in 1730 but its name was established in 1816).
It lies on Museum Street, originally called Peter Street, the name being altered soon after the establishment of the British Museum, formerly Montague House built in 1678.
The area of Bloomsbury was developed by the Russell family in the 17th and 18th centuries into a fashionable residential area. The major development of the squares that we see today started in about 1800 when Francis Russell, 5th Duke of Bedford removed Bedford House and developed the land to the north with Russell Square as its centrepiece.
Historically, Bloomsbury is associated with the arts, education and medicine. The area gives its name to the Bloomsbury Group, the most celebrated of whom was Virginia Woolf, the group met in private homes in the area in the early 1900's. Other groups, such as the Bloomsbury Gang of Whigs, formed here in 1765 by John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of artists and writers, was also founded in John Milais' parents' house on Gower Street in 1848.
well known residents included novelist Charles Dickens, who lived at 14 Great Russell Street; Charles Darwin, the naturalist and scientist who lived at 12 Upper Gower Street; George du Maurier, the artist and writer, lived at 91 (formerly 46) Great Russell Street; and JM Barrie, the playwright and novelist who lived in Guilford Street and Grenville Street when he first moved to London and is where the Darling Family in Peter Pan live.