History of The Griffin and Caversham Bridge

The Griffin pub is strategically located on the north bank of the River Thames, close to Caversham Bridge in the historic town of Caversham, incorporated into Reading Borough as recently as 1911. It stands on the outskirts of town, separated from the rest of Reading by the River Thames with access via the Caversham Bridge, a Thames crossing point for over a thousand years.

Historically an important ferry crossing, Henry III ordered an oak tree to be sent to the area in 1231 to make a ferry boat. However, the first bridge was actually in use here before then by travellers, merchants and pilgrims, many of whom will have visited the famous Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham, destroyed during the Reformation.

Caversham Bridge also played an important role in the English Civil War when, during the Siege of Reading in 1643, King Charles I and Prince Rupert of the Rhine led an attempt to relieve the Royalist forces, besieged for months in Reading, by storming the Parliamentary troops on the great Bridge. But it wasn’t until the 1800s that people making the crossing to Caversham would have found the travellers tavern now known as The Griffin pub.

Rebuilt in 1916 on the site of the original tavern, The Griffin pub restaurant enjoys a superb location on Church Street, next door to the beautifully restored Cavendish Court Gardens, an award-winning public park containing several Grade II listed buildings and glorious gardens on three terraces, originally laid out in 1660 as a private retreat.

The Griffin pub is also the ideal lunch or evening haven for those enjoying a walk along the Thames Path National Trail – we are located on the attractive Tilehurst to Sonning section of the Path. After a gentle stroll or a more taxing trek, what better way to finish than lunch with friends from our extensive menu? The Griffin offers a traditional pub menu made from high quality produce and a selection of seasonal specials is always certain to tempt the palate. Be sure to sample our real ales or choose from our extensive wine list, an especial treat in colder months whilst relaxing by one of our open lit fires.

Our riverside location makes The Griffin an ideal stop off point for those cruising the Thames, as you can moor up, cross the bridge and be enjoying pub lunch in no time. Our sumptuous Sunday roasts are always popular as are our extensive range of delicious weekly specials. Book your table online today.

Directions To The Griffin Pub

You can find the Griifin pub on Church Street, just north of the River Thames minutes from Caversham Bridge. We are a five-minute drive from Reading town centre on the A4074. Just key RG4 7AD into your satnav to find us, next door to Cavendish Court Gardens.