Great Expectations (1861)


'I don't know why it is a crack thing to be a brewer; but it is indisputable that while you cannot possibly be genteel and bake, you may be as genteel as never was and brew. You see it every day.'

'Yet a gentleman may not keep a public-house; may he?' said I.

'Not on any account,' returned Herbert; 'but a public-house may keep a gentleman.'


Pip's rise and fall is partly charted through his use of hostelries. He is informed of his improved lot at The Three Jolly Bargemen, and when a 'gentleman' feels too grand to stay at Joe's, and puts up at The Blue Boar instead. When his fortunes decline, he can no longer command the best room there. Dickens also plays on the idea that Barnards Inn is a superior drinking-place, a joke he used more than once: '...I was still looking sideways at his block of a face in search of any encouraging note to the text, when he said here we were at Barnard's Inn. My depression was not alleviated by the announcement, for, I had supposed that establishment to be an hotel kept by Mr Barnard, to which the Blue Boar in our town was a mere public-house. Whereas I now found Barnard to be a disembodied spirit, or a fiction, and his inn the dingiest collection of shabby buildings ever squeezed together in a rank corner as a club for Tom-cats.'


The Blue Boar Rochester (The Bull Inn). Also used in Pickwick Papers under its own name.

The tidings of my high fortunes had a heavy fall, had got down to my native place and its neighbourhood, before I got there. I found the Blue Boar in possession of the intelligence, and I found that it made a great change in the Boar's demeanour. Whereas the Board had cultivated my good opinion with warm assiduity when in was coming into property, the Boar was exceedingly cool on the subject now that I was going out of property.

The Cross Keys Wood Street, Cheapside. Also referred to in Little Dorrit and Nicholas Nickleby. Rochester coaches started and finished here.

The Fox under the Hill (Unnamed) Denmark Hill. The site of Wemmick's breakfast feast.

The Half-way House Note 1 to chapter 28 of the Penguin edition. 'The Half-way House. This is presumed to be the inn called ‘Guy, Earl of Warwick' at Welling, in Kent.'

Hummum's Covent Garden. Also mentioned in Sketches. Defunct, although place of the same name stands on the same spot?

The Ship Gravesend (The Ship and Lobster). Extant?

The Three Jolly Bargmen Cooling is possibly/probably the place of Joe's forgery, in which case this is The Horseshoe and Castle Inn. Extant.

There was a bar at the Jolly Bargemen, with some alarmingly long chalk scores in it on the wall at the side of the door, which seemed to me to be never paid off. They had been there ever since I could remember, and had grown more than I had. But there was a quantity of chalk about our country, and perhaps the people neglected no opportunity of turning it to account.

It being Saturday night, I found the landlord looking rather grimly at these records, but as my business was with Joe and not with him, I merely wished him good evening, and passed into the common room at the end of the passage, where there was a bright large kitchen fire, and where Joe was smoking his pipe in company with Mr Wopsle and a stranger.