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A former coaching inn dating back to 1600 and famous for its back room previously frequented by US and Allied airmen

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Air Force Bar
Autographed Ceiling
DNA Plaque
Originally opened in 1667 as the ‘Eagle and Child’, The Eagle pub is one of Cambridge’s most popular drinking establishments and one with an impressive historical legacy. It can be found on Benet Street, just to the South of the Senate House at the heart of Cambridge. The pub is set in a beautiful stone building with large grey bricks rising up from the street floor. It’s one of the larger pubs in the city with access to a beautiful beer garden and serves a number of Greene King beers and international wines.

The door to the Pub

Inside the Eagle Pub
The Eagle is famous for housing the so-called RAF bar, named as such because the pub was popular during the Second World War with local RAF and American Army Air Corp personnel. A permanent and moving reminder of those momentous days has been left here in the form of some unusual yet historical graffiti. It became custom for the pilots to burn their names, squadron numbers and messages to loved ones into the ceiling and walls of the pub using candles whilst standing on the shoulders of their fellow airmen! It’s impossible to imagine any Landlord today allowing this form of risky vandalism but it demonstrates that at that time these men were seen very much as heroes. These poignant signatures can still be seen today and one remembers that many of the scribes never returned home from their combat missions.

The ceiling of the RAF Bar
The pub is now owned by Corpus Christi College and is popular amongst its students and fellows.  As well as the college, the world famous Cavendish Laboratory was also a past neighbour of the Eagle before it moved to its current location on JJ Thomson Avenue. As a result the pub was often frequented by the researchers of the lab. Two such scientists were Francis Crick and James Watson. It was at the Eagle at lunchtime on the 28th February 1953, that Crick and Watson proudly announced they’d “discovered the secret of life” having unravelled the mystery of DNA and its double helix structure. Quite a lunch it must have been for the patrons that afternoon!! The event is commemorated on a plaque next to the entrance and accounted in Watson’s book, ‘The Double Helix’.

The Courtyard
A drink in the Eagle is a chance to step into history. It does not take much to imagine a bar full of RAF pilots enjoying a drink why they still could, or Watson and Crick huddled over a pint discussing their research. A trip to Cambridge must include a stop at this historic pub. So why not enjoy a pint and soak up the atmosphere.
Visitor Information
The Eagle pub is open Monday to Saturday, 11am to 10.30pm and Sunday noon to 10pm. The pub has an attractive outdoor stone cobbled courtyard. Tel: 01223 505 020

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