The Shakespeare's Head, which was built in 1735, was
originally owned by Thomas & John Shakespeare, who were
distant relatives of the poet.
In its early days, the tavern stood on the boundary line that
divided the lands of the Mercers Company from those of the
Abbot of Abingdon, and nearby was a small estate known as Six
Acre Fields. During the Victorian period, the field was a site of tie
riding school, belonging to major Henry Foubert, whose name is
commemorated by neighbouring Foubert Place.
The present day Shakespeare's Head overlooks Carnaby Street which
was once the site of an 18th century street market and is now one
of the worlds most famous shopping precincts.
Dominating its northern end is the pub inn sign, which is a
reproduction of Martin Droeshout's portrait of Shakespeare
when the poet was at the pinnacle of genius.
On another part of the building is Shakespeare's life size
bust, which appears to be gazing down at the busy
street below. A close examination of the bust will
show one of the poets hands is missing. This
occured during World War II when a
bomb dropped nearby.