The future of the Eagle and Child Pub, favorite hangout of The Inklings, a writer’s group that included J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, hangs in the balance.

The Eagle and Child in St Giles’, Oxford, has a plaque inside commemorating a writers’ group get-togethers. Known as The Inklings, they would regularly meet up with other academics at the Grade II listed pub. C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, and Owen Barfield were among the members. Barfield convinced Lewis and Tolkien of the importance of myths in literature at the groups’ weekly meetings, where they read new works aloud. This is where The Lord of The Rings was first read, and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Christopher Tolkien also frequented the pub while working on his fathers papers. And fans gather to toast JRRT’s birthday!

The Eagle and Child has been a public house since 1650 and was used as a playhouse for Royalist soldiers during the English Civil War.

CS Lewis (left) and JRR Tolkien (right)
The corner by the fire where they met

Plans were previously approved to turn it into a hotel, but several operators came and went and it shut down during the Covid pandemic. After 3 years, the local newspaper printed: “It does appear that the Eagle and Child has been left to rot.”
St John’s College is the owner, responded and said: “Following consideration of options, the college instructed Savills (a realtor) to market the pub on a stand-alone basis with the current planning consent in place.”

Another of the famous authors’ regular haunts, The Lamb & Flag, is also owned by the college. It reopened in October2022 after being taken over by a community group. This pub has operated on St Giles since 1613. The modern day Inklings of Oxford still meet there. In a statement, the group said: “We are determined to ensure that the next 408 years of this beloved pub will be as fun, interesting and impactful as the last 408 years.”

It’s been speculated that the long delay is due to the high rent Oxford/St John’s is asking for the property.


David Raiklen
David Raiklen

David Raiklen wrote, directed and scored his first film at age 9. He began studying keyboard and composing at age 5. He attended, then taught at UCLA, USC and CalArts. Among his teachers are John Williams and Mel Powel.
He has worked for Fox, Disney and Sprint. David has received numerous awards for his work, including the 2004 American Music Center Award. Dr. Raiklen has composed music and sound design for theater (Death and the Maiden), dance (Russian Ballet), television (Sing Me a Story), cell phone (Spacey Movie), museums (Museum of Tolerance), concert (Violin Sonata ), and film (Appalachian Trail).
His compositions have been performed at the Hollywood Bowl and the first Disney Hall. David Raiken is also host of a successful radio program, Classical Fan Club.