Turf Tavern

Oxford, United Kingdom

Turf Tavern


The Turf Tavern (or just "the Turf") is a historic pub in central Oxford, England. Its foundations and use as a malt house and drinking tavern date back to 1381. The low-beamed front bar area was put in place sometime in the 17th century. It was originally called the Spotted Cow but the name was changed in 1842, likely as part of an effort to extinguish its reputation as a venue for illegal gambling activities.

The pub is frequented primarily by university students (of both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes University). It is located at the end of a narrow winding alley, St Helens Passage (originally Hell's passage), between Holywell Street and New College Lane, near the Bridge of Sighs. Running along one side of the pub is one of the remaining sections of the old city wall. Due to the illegal activities of many of its original patrons, the Turf sprang up in an area just outside the city wall in order to escape the jurisdiction of the governing bodies of the local colleges.

Thumbnail image credited to Jim LinwoodAdditional info

Guests' reviews

Accommodations near Turf Tavern

View more options near Turf Tavern

Turf Tavern Tours & Activities